462.00 R 294/2: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Finance ( Herrick )

71. For Boyden.46 B–312.

American Ambassador, London, under date of March 8, 5 p.m., reports as follows:

“Sir Robert Home47 and Sir Basil Blackett48 represent England at conference of Allied finance minister’s meeting today which will discuss: 1. Financial convention of August 13, 1921, dealing with division of coal furnished by Germany, valuation of Sarre coal and division of first milliard gold marks paid by Germany. 2. Wiesbaden agreement.49 3. Repayment of cost of armies of occupation.

[Page 219]

England is expected to ratify Wiesbaden agreement in return for French ratification of the August convention modified as follows: 640,000,000 gold marks to go to repayment of military expenses incurred before May 1st, 1921, of which England will receive 500,000,000, France 140,000,000, remainder of milliard to Belgium except 30,000,000 for Italy. Cash payments for 1922 all to go to Belgium. The fixing of total German payments for 1922 and guarantees of financial and budgetary reforms to be demanded of Germany is to be dealt with by Reparation Commission.”

Please inform Committee of Finance Ministers that the Government of the United States desires them to take note of the fact that the net amount of the accumulated costs of the American Army of Occupation to May 1, 1921, is approximately $241,000,000. State that in view of the priority of army costs over reparations and the fact that the claims of the Allied Governments for army costs have been substantially met, excepting possibly those of England, (these would apparently be taken care of if the distribution reported by the American Embassy in London, as stated above, were approved), the Government of the United States expects to obtain payment in full of costs of its army of occupation, with interest from May 1, 1921, until payment of the amount of the claim outstanding, before any part of payments by Germany is distributed for reparations or other purposes.
[Paraphrase.] If the question of current costs of American army of occupation comes before the Committee, you should definitely state that the Government of the United States will insist upon full payment and upon receiving assurance of payment, there will not be difficulty in agreeing upon a practicable method. [End paraphrase.]
  1. Roland Boyden, American unofficial representative on the Reparation Commission.
  2. Chancellor of the British Exchequer.
  3. A Comptroller of the British Treasury.
  4. An agreement between the French and German Governments concerning the application of part III of the Treaty of Versailles regarding deliveries in kind.