The British High Commissioners in Germany : some aspects of their role in Anglo-German relations, 1949-1955
Between 1949 and 1955 the supreme authority in the newly established Federal Republic of Germany did not lie in the hands of the elected representatives, but in the hands of the representatives of the three Western Occupying Powers, the Allied High Commissioners. Surprisingly quickly the character and the role of the Allied High Commission changed and it devolved more and more of its power to the German Government. This thesis recounts the history of the Allied High Commission from the perspective of the British High Commissioner. Three men consecutively held this position: Sir Brian Robertson, Sir Ivone Kirkpatrick, and Sir Frederick Hoyer Millar. They were three very different men, who had different perceptions of their role, different tasks to accomplish, and different degrees of influence on events in Germany and British policy on Germany. The three men are given epithets, which either describe their perception of their role as British High Commissioner in Germany or the role itself, and which serve as themes for the three main parts of the thesis. Sir Brian Robertson was called a "Benevolent and Sympathetic Viceroy" by his biographer, which not only describes Robertson's own perception of his role in Germany, but also is the best indication of the vast powers of the Allied High Commissioners at the beginning. His successor, Sir Ivone Kirkpatrick, was charged with negotiating the end of the Allied High Commission and for this act of self-eradication is given the epithet "The Negotiator". If it had not been for the French delay of the ratification of the 1952 treaties, Sir Frederick Hoyer Millar would have been the first British Ambassador to Germany. Instead he held the title fo British High Commissioner for his first two years in Germany, although for all intents and purposes he was an "Ambassador in Waiting".