The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Guatemala (Thurston)
Your despatch No. 808.24 Under Treaty of Peace with Germany, Allied and associated Governments reserve right to retain and liquidate, subject to provisions of Treaty, all property within their territories belonging to German nationals or to companies controlled by German nationals at the date when the Treaty comes into force. In the case of states which are not entitled to share in the reparation payments to be made by Germany, the proceeds of liquidations are, subject to rights of Reparation Commission, to be paid directly to the owner. It appears probable that Guatemala will come within this class. Until the completion of the liquidation German property will continue subject to the exceptional war measures.
In view of provisions of Peace Treaty, Department feels that German properties taken over by Guatemalan Alien Property Custodian should be offered for sale at once and under conditions which will give all persons who desire to purchase them an opportunity to bid on equal terms. Request President to furnish a list of the properties with the appraised value of each property for information of prospective purchasers. Department will be glad to aid in securing publicity for such list, thereby assuring wider market and better price.
Confidential. Department feels that practice of private sales of former German owned properties to specially favored parties without competitive bidding should be stopped. You are authorized to make appropriate and discreet representations to prevent sales of this kind. Endeavor to prevent appraisals being made so high as to make sales impossible.
- Not printed.↩