International Authority for the Ruhr

International Authority for the Ruhr

Infobox Former International Organization
conventional_long_name = International Authority for the Ruhr
common_name = Ruhr
_noautocat = yes
status = Special territory
continent = Europe
country = Germany
era = Cold War
event_start = London Agreement
year_start = 1949
date_start = April 28
event_end =
year_end = 1952
date_end = May 27
event1 = Treaty of Paris
date_event1 = April 18, 1951
p1 = Allied Occupation Zones in Germany
flag_p1 = Flag of Germany (1946-1949).svg
s1 = European Coal and Steel Community
flag_s1 = Flag of the European Coal and Steel Community 6 Star Version.svg

image_map_caption = Political borders of post-World War II Germany in 1949, with the Ruhr Area controlled by the IAR shown in brown.
capital = "Not applicable"¹
footnotes = ¹ The London Agreement stipulates the location of a headquarter in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The International Authority for the Ruhr (IAR) was an international body established in 1949 by the Allied powers to control the coal and steel industry of the Ruhr Area in West Germany.

It was agreed at meetings in London on 20 April and 2 June 1949 by the United States, United Kingdom, France and the Benelux countries. The London agreement was signed on 28 April of that year. It was abolished by the Treaty of Paris in 1951, which moved its activities to the European Coal and Steel Community. The IAR ended its work on 27 May 1952.


The early French plans were concerned with keeping Germany weak and strengthening the French economy at the expense of that of Germany. (see the Monnet plan) French foreign policy aimed at dismantling German heavy industry, place the coal rich Ruhr area and Rhineland under French control or at a minimum internationalize them, and also to join the coal rich Saarland with the iron rich province of Lorraine (which had been handed over from Germany to France again in 1944). [cite web|url=| |format=PDF] When American diplomats reminded the French of what a devastating effect this would have on the German economy, France's response was to suggest the Germans would just have to "make the necessary adjustments" to deal with the inevitable foreign exchange deficit"." [cite web|url=| |format=PDF]

In 1947 France removed the Saar from Germany and turned it into a protectorate under French economic control. The area returned to German administration in Jaunuary 1, 1957, but France retained the right to mine from its coal mines until 1981. French plans for the complete detachment of the Ruhr from Germany met with greater resistance. In September 1946 the US government stated in the Stuttgart speech Restatement of Policy on Germany that it would accept the French claims on the Saarland, but that: "the United States will not support any encroachment on territory which is indisputably German or any division of Germany which is not genuinely desired by the people concerned. So far as the United States is aware the people of the Ruhr area and the Rhineland desire to remain united with the rest of Germany. And the United States is not going to oppose their desire."


The Ruhr Agreement was imposed on the (West) Germans as a condition for permitting them to establish the Federal Republic of Germany. [Amos Yoder, " [ The Ruhr Authority and the German Problem] ", The Review of Politics, Vol. 17, No. 3 (Jul., 1955), pp. 345-358] By controlling the production and distribution of coal and steel (i.e. how much coal and steel the Germans themselves would get), the International Authority for the Ruhr in effect controlled the entire West German economy, much to the dismay of the Germans. They were however permitted to send their delegations to the authority after the Petersberg agreement.

With the West German agreement to join the European Coal and Steel Community in order to lift the restrictions imposed by the IAR, [cite web|url=|title=No more guns from the Ruhr!] thus also ensuring French security by perpetuating French access to Ruhr coal, [ [ France Restored: Cold War Diplomacy and the Quest for Leadership in Europe, 1944-1954] H-Net Reviews June 2001] the role of the IAR was taken over by the ECSC. [ Information bulletin Frankfurt, Germany: Office of the US High Commissioner for Germany Office of Public Affairs, Public Relations Division, APO 757, US Army, January 1952 "Plans for terminating international authority for the Ruhr" , pp. 61-62] ( [ main URL] )]


The authority was governed by a council composed of the signatory governments of the London Agreement. The representatives of the Allies each had three votes and the Benelux countries had one vote each. The agreement also stipulated the accession of Occupied Germany as soon as it had formed a government recognized by the Allies, and that role came to be held by West Germany. Economic costs were shared among the members on the basis of voting rights.
*Belgium, 1 vote
*France, 3 votes
*Luxembourg, 1 vote
*Netherlands, 1 vote
*United Kingdom, 3 votes
*United States, 3 votes
*West Germany, 3 votes


The London Agreement defines the the Ruhr Area within North Rhine-Westphalia by listing 36 districts in the regions of Düsseldorf, Münster, and Arnsberg.

In Regierungsbezirk Düsseldorf:
# Landkreis Dinslaken
# Landkreis Düsseldorf-Mettmann
# Landkreis Essen
# Landkreis Geldern
# Landkreis Krefeld-Uerdingen
# Landkreis Moers
# Landkreis Rees
# Stadtkreis Düsseldorf
# Stadtkreis Duisburg-Hamborn
# Stadtkreis Mülheim
# Stadtkreis Neuss
# Stadtkreis Oberhausen
# Stadtkreis Remscheid
# Stadtkreis Solingen
# Stadtkreis Wuppertal

In Regierungsbezirk Münster:
# Landkreis Beckum
# Landkreis Lüdinghausen
# Landkreis Recklinghausen
# Stadtkreis Bottrop
# Stadtkreis Gelsenkirchen
# Stadtkreis Gladbeck
# Stadtkreis Recklinghausen

In Regierungsbezirk Arnsberg:
# Landkreis Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis
# Landkreis Iserlohn
# Landkreis Unna
# Stadtkreis Bochum
# Stadtkreis Castrop-Rauxel
# Stadtkreis Dortmund
# Stadtkreis Hagen
# Stadtkreis Hamm
# Stadtkreis Herne
# Stadtkreis Iserlohn
# Stadtkreis Luenen
# Stadtkreis Wanne-Eickel
# Stadtkreis Wattenscheid
# Stadtkreis Witten

See also

*Industrial plans for Germany
*Morgenthau Plan
*Monnet Plan
*Saar protectorate

External links

* [ The International Authority for the Ruhr] - European NAvigator
* [ Agreement for an International Authority for the Ruhr] , April 28, 1949 - European NAvigator
* [ France, Germany and the Struggle for the War-making Natural Resources of the Rhineland] ICE Case Studies, Number 158, August, 2005


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