462.00 R29/48: Telegram

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

566. R–361 for the Department and Davis.

1st. The Maritime Service sitting in London at its meeting 17th February 1920 adopted resolution to publish following notice with reference to beneficial ownership in enemy [vessels:]

“With reference to paragraph 20 of annex II of part VII [VIII] of the Treaty of Versailles which runs as follows: The Reparation Commission, in fixing or accepting obligation [payment] in specified properties or rights, shall have due regard for any legal or equitable interests of the Allied and Associated Powers or of any neutral powers or of their nationals therein: notice is hereby given that the Reparation Commission will proceed to divide the ex-German ships on and after the 1st May, 1920. All claims which it is desired to make in respect of any of these ships under the above quoted article must be notified through the government of the claimant to the secretary Maritime Service of the Reparation Commission, Bridgewater House, London SW 1 not later than the 1st April 1920. The Reparation Commission cannot undertake to consider any claims received after that date”.

This notice is to be submitted to Reparation Commission for publication if adopted by Commission in accordance with general procedure of Commission in such respects. Cable at once if you have any suggestions regarding this notice.

2. There is no record here of any vessels other than tankers in which American nationals claim beneficial ownership. Request this be investigated and if any other claims exist we be notified promptly. [Page 518] Do you desire us to arrange for giving notice of claims? It would probably be preferable that interested parties should prepare claims which when approved by Department could be sent us for filing in accordance with notice. Understand we are not to present any claim respecting tankers or other vessels unless and until otherwise instructed. Rathbone.