462.00 R 29/254: Telegram

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


1202. For Boyden from Davis.

B–62. Referring to your B–137, July 1, Embassy’s 1344. See Department’s 3645, November 1, 1919, my R–30,72 for Rathbone.

Proportions in which the several Allied countries should share in indemnity payments of Germany was discussed several times in informal meetings of the Reparation Sub-Commission, the records of which are included in Dulles’s “Record of Confidential and Informal Memoranda and Conferences Dealing with Reparation Clauses.”72 Figures of 25 percent for Great Britain and 55 percent for France were only tentative and were based upon a schedule of estimates of damage suffered by the several Allied Powers under categories of part VIII (Reparation), annex I. This schedule revised to June 6, 1919, showed following damages: France $20,000,000,000; Great Britain $11,000,000,000; Belgium $5,200,000,000; Italy $4,000,000,000; United States $940,000,000; Japan $175,000,000; Serbia and Montenegro $1,200,000,000; Roumania $1,000,000,000; Greece $100,000,000; all others including China, Portugal, Siam, Armenia, etc., but not including Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Russia, $250,000,000. These figures only roughest approximation. This schedule listed damage suffered by each nation under each category and is being forwarded to you in next pouch. Although this schedule was basis for informal discussions, no definite agreement regarding percentages was ever reached. The only formal agreement on this subject is contained in that adopted and signed April 30, 1919, by President Wilson, Lloyd-George, and Clemenceau as follows:73

“The proportions in which receipts from Germany are to be divided between the Allied and Associated Governments in accordance with Article 7 of the Reparation chapter of the Draft Treaty with Germany, shall be those which the aggregates of the claims of each against Germany which are established to the satisfaction of the Reparation Commission, in accordance with Annexes 1 and 2 of the Reparation chapter, bear to the aggregate of the claims of all against Germany which are established to the satisfaction of the Commission.”

This document was signed in triplicate and copies were sent to American, French, and British Treasuries. My recollection is that [Page 397] British and ourselves thought French claim of 20 billion dollars excessive, the British claiming 10 billion probably nearer fact.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Text of agreement is not paraphrased.