Paris Peace Conf. 184.01102/177

Lieutenant F. R. King to Professor A. C. Coolidge54

No. 50

Subject: Stamping of bank notes in the Czecho-Slovak Republic.

The National Assembly on February 25 passed a bill governing:

The Stamping of Banknotes, and
The Declaration of property. (This latter with a view to the proposed tax on capital).

(1) Stamping of Banknotes.

All notes of the Austro-Hungarian Bank in circulation in the Czechoslovak Republic, with the exception of one and two crown notes, will bear a stamp of the value of 1% of the respective note. The stamping will take place between the 3rd and 9th of March inclusive; merchants and tradesmen, however, will only be allowed to present their notes to be stamped on March 9th. Fifty per cent of the notes will be with-drawn from circulation and will be held as a Government loan bearing interest of 1% from March 15th. After March 9th only stamped banknotes will be valid in the Czechoslovak Republic. (A provision of the law requires wages of workmen (paid weekly) to be paid in stamped banknotes which are in this case exempt from the stamp tax and states that monthly payments (e. g. salaries of officials) will be made as follows: ¼ on March 1st and balance on March 10th). The purpose of this bill may be said to be:

To ascertain the amount of money in circulation,
To reduce this amount by half, and
To nationalise the crown.

(2) Declaration of Property.

All war loan bonds, Austrian or Hungarian, will be recorded and stamped. All bank deposits, shares in stock companies, bonds etc. must be declared in the name of the real owner and failure to comply with [Page 345] this provision within three months will give the state the right to confiscate all property not declared. An inventory of certificates, of gold and silver, in coin or specie, and of foreign banknotes etc. and a list of live stock, agricultural implements, raw materials and stocks etc. must be submitted. Any sums spent between August 1, 1914 and February 28, 1919 for the purchase of precious stones, pearls, jewels, antique rugs, objets d’art etc. must also be accounted for. Finally a list of insurance policies on life, capital or income, will be made and submitted to the Government.

All persons having lived in the Czecho Slovak territory for a year or more must declare all their possessions including those in foreign countries. Others need only declare their property within the territorial limits of the State.

The frontiers of the Republic will be closed between February 26 and March 9th to all passengers and freight traffic, couriers and doctors excepted. Between March 1st and 9th no money orders will be issued nor will deposits (cash or cheques) in Saving banks be accepted.

Frederic R. King
  1. Transmitted to the Commission by Professor Coolidge under covering letter No. 123, March 5; received March 8.