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International Authority for the Ruhr

The International Authority for the Ruhr (IAR) was an international body established in 1949 by the Western Allies to control the coal and steel industry of the Ruhr Area in West Germany. Its seat had been in Düsseldorf.

International Authority for the Ruhr

Political borders of post-World War II Germany in 1949, with the Ruhr Area controlled by the IAR shown in brown.
Political borders of post-World War II Germany in 1949, with the Ruhr Area controlled by the IAR shown in brown.
StatusInternational body
Historical eraCold War
• London Agreement ratified by Ruhrstatut
28 April 1949
18 April 1951
• Disestablished
27 May 1952
Succeeded by
European Coal and Steel Community
¹ The London Agreement stipulates the location of a headquarters in North Rhine-Westphalia.

International supervision of the Ruhr was set out in the communiqué issued June 7, 1948, after the meetings in London between the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France and the Benelux countries. It was abolished by the Treaty of Paris in 1951, which moved its activities to the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). The IAR ended its work on 27 May 1952.


Map showing details of the 1946 French proposal for the detachment of the Ruhr area and parts of the Rhineland from Germany.

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, placing the coal-rich Ruhr area and Rhineland under French control or at a minimum internationalize them, and also joining the coal-rich Saarland with the iron-rich province of Lorraine (which had been handed over from Germany to France again in 1944).[1] 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.[1]

In 1947 France removed the Saar from Germany and turned it into a protectorate under French economic control. The area returned to German administration on 1 January 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 James F. Byrnes, the United States Secretary of State stated in a Stuttgart speech Restatement of Policy on Germany that the United States 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.[2] 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,[3] thus also ensuring French security by perpetuating French access to Ruhr coal,[4] the role of the IAR was taken over by the ECSC.[5]


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.

Protest in communist East Berlin against the Ruhr statute, and against the Occupation statute.


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

In Regierungsbezirk Düsseldorf:

  1. Landkreis Dinslaken
  2. Landkreis Düsseldorf-Mettmann
  3. Landkreis Essen
  4. Landkreis Geldern
  5. Landkreis Krefeld-Uerdingen
  6. Landkreis Moers
  7. Landkreis Rees
  8. Stadtkreis Düsseldorf
  9. Stadtkreis Duisburg-Hamborn
  10. Stadtkreis Mülheim
  11. Stadtkreis Neuss
  12. Stadtkreis Oberhausen
  13. Stadtkreis Remscheid
  14. Stadtkreis Solingen
  15. Stadtkreis Wuppertal

In Regierungsbezirk Münster:

  1. Landkreis Beckum
  2. Landkreis Lüdinghausen
  3. Landkreis Recklinghausen
  4. Stadtkreis Bottrop
  5. Stadtkreis Gelsenkirchen
  6. Stadtkreis Gladbeck
  7. Stadtkreis Recklinghausen

In Regierungsbezirk Arnsberg:

  1. Landkreis Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis
  2. Landkreis Iserlohn
  3. Landkreis Unna
  4. Stadtkreis Bochum
  5. Stadtkreis Castrop-Rauxel
  6. Stadtkreis Dortmund
  7. Stadtkreis Hagen
  8. Stadtkreis Hamm
  9. Stadtkreis Herne
  10. Stadtkreis Iserlohn
  11. Stadtkreis Luenen
  12. Stadtkreis Wanne-Eickel
  13. Stadtkreis Wattenscheid
  14. Stadtkreis Witten

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "" (PDF).
  2. ^ Amos Yoder, "The Ruhr Authority and the German Problem", The Review of Politics, Vol. 17, No. 3 (Jul., 1955), pp. 345-358
  3. ^ "No more guns from the Ruhr!".
  4. ^ France Restored: Cold War Diplomacy and the Quest for Leadership in Europe, 1944-1954 H-Net Reviews June 2001
  5. ^ 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)

External linksEdit