The Commission to Negotiate Peace to the Secretary of State
[Received November 8—3:06 a.m.]
5062. For War Trade Board from Rathbone.
Permanent committee of experts on dyestuffs of the Committee of Organization of the Reparation Commission held meeting November 5. Conclusions of this committee are not final but are referred to Committee of Organization of the Reparation Commission for consideration and ultimate decision. At meeting the following transpired:
- The committee agreed that licenses should be issued forthwith permitting the 5,200 tons referred to in American Mission 257, September 16th, 11 a.m.,98 to be withdrawn from impounded supplies [and shipped] when desired by the respective countries.
- The British portion of these dyes is now ready for shipment.
- As German transportation facilities are inadequate owing to alleged coal shortage and low water in the Rhine it was agreed that no Allied country should have advantage over another in the shipping of dyes.
- German factories while neglecting Allied orders are filling German and neutral orders. It was the opinion that the present military control over the factories in occupied territory could not be continued after the treaty came into effect, but the view was advanced that the clause in annex VI, paragraph 2, of the treaty, giving the Allied and Associated Powers the right to 25 per cent of the daily production and leaving it to them to decide whether the daily production had been up to normal or not, would enable them to set up a sort of control commission which would not only supervise existing stock[s] but also look into the production of the various factories and require them to produce the actual colors wanted by the Allies up to normal production of each color wanted, and also prevent Germany from pretending she could not produce certain dyes because she lacked certain necessary raw materials. A proposed set of instructions for such a commission is to be drawn up and a special meeting of the committee of experts is to be held next Wednesday to consider these regulations.
- It was estimated that 90 percent of the stocks and production of dye[s] are in occupied territory.
- In urging her claims for dyes Belgium stated that her textile mills had been restored and are producing to prewar capacity. Italy stated her mills are operating to full prewar capacity. France [Page 469]stated that 75 per cent of her prewar textile workers are back at work.
- Inventories of stocks August 15 showed approximately 40,000 tons, of which share of Allies under treaty option is 20,000 tons. Of this amount 5,200 tons above referred to have already been apportioned. Question of reparation [repartition] of remaining 14,800 tons which will be available if treaty option is exercised was considered. It was suggested that the amount in weight of dyes imported from Germany by each of the five countries in 1913 including their colonies, dominions and protectorates, should be used as a basis and the remaining dyes should be divided among the five countries, each country to receive in proportion of their respective imports from Germany in 1913, with slight increases to France, Belgium and Italy, whose industry has suffered most. Statistics submitted at the meeting differed very widely and it was agreed that at a meeting to be held December 1st, each country shall have a statistician and that the statistics agreed upon by these five statisticians at a meeting among themselves to be held a day or two previously shall be accepted by the committee. As we are without such statistician it appears advisable you cable quickly amount of imports for the year 1913 into each of the five countries, their colonies, dominions, and protectorates, indicating the sources of the statistics, also if possible the German official export figures to correspond.