462.00 R 29/218: Telegram

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


1036. For Boyden.

Treasury B–42. Your telegrams B–91 and B–93.68 Until attitude of Congress regarding disposition of German property and ships taken over by Alien Property Custodian is indicated it will not be possible to state amount of reparation, if any, United States may ask, if the treaty is ratified. Necessary also to hold a conference of certain executive branches of Government to determine what Government claims, if any, should be included as reparation.

For your confidential information, Alien Property Custodian states approximately $426,000,000 is amount of enemy funds or property now held by him or Treasury, based on values at the time taken. This amount will be materially reduced by proposed amendment of Act which would permit return of property taken over belonging to Americans, citizens of associated or neutral states, or of new states, etc.

A partial statement of pre-war claims which might be paid from the Alien Property fund would include $80,000,000 of submarine losses and perhaps $50,000,000 to $100,000,000 of losses arising from damaged American property in occupied territory on account of destruction, requisitions, etc. American losses would be greatly increased by admission of War Risk Insurance Claims. Regarding them a policy is yet to be adopted.

It is almost impossible to attempt an estimate of the damage in enemy or ally-of-enemy states to American property. There has not yet been opportunity for owners to find out what has happened to their property and they are not in a position to know amounts or nature of claims they may make regarding it. The amount of [Page 393] American property in enemy and occupied territories is almost $500,000,000. Germany did not begin restoration of American property until January 11, 1920, and all American cash still being withheld.

Information asked for in your B–7569 is being prepared.

  1. Ante, p. 389.
  2. Not printed.