462.00 R 29/169: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France (Wallace)

760. For Boyden from Davis. Treasury B–8.

Your B–12.

  • First: This Government does not wish to furnish a schedule of interests and rights to be claimed by it under Article 260, provided policy outlined in paragraph second is adopted.
  • Second: I do not understand from the various cables on this subject whether it is the intention of the Allied Governments to take over in their own name such of the German properties as they respectively may desire, or to take them over on behalf of their nationals who may desire to purchase them. While the Treaty undoubtedly gives the Reparation Commission the power to take over such properties, it was never my understanding that this power was to be exercised in a wholesale fashion and that the respective governments would acquire these properties at non-competitive prices. It was my understanding that this power would be exercised only in specific cases where there was some justification for so doing, and that then the properties would be taken over by the Reparation Commission and sold to the highest bidder to the maximum benefit of the Reparation fund. As you are aware, our opinion is that it is inadvisable to exercise this power in any other way. If the above policy is adopted there is no necessity of our filing a list but after a list is filed by Germany or the Allies it can be given to any American concerns which might be interested in purchasing any of the properties included therein.