462.11 W 892/31: Telegram

The Chargé in Germany (Dresel) to the Secretary of State


30. Please refer to Department’s instruction no. 1376, August 20, 1921, 6 p.m.,84 the first part of which I communicated verbatim to the German Government on August 22 in a memorandum. I took it to mean that it explicitly contemplated the immediate negotiation of a commercial treaty and now find some difficulty in persuading [Page 241] the Government here that the settlement of claims against Germany should precede the negotiation of such a treaty.

The Foreign Office has just handed me a memorandum which raises this point and protests the alleged injustice that is involved and states that it does not seem desirable that commercial negotiations be made to depend upon the settlement, possibly postponed for some length of time, of other questions.

In conversation with me as well as in the memorandum the Foreign Office expresses the view that the establishment of a mixed commission does not seem to be inadvisable but it assumes that a commission of this sort would have to determine not only the amounts to be paid but also to decide on the justification of the demands. It would be necessary to determine the categories of the indemnities for Germany to pay, and to make clear questions of finance. The Foreign Office requests the Department’s suggestions on the composition of the commission. The Foreign Office also asks further if the establishment of such a commission as this would mean a waiver on the part of the United States of its right to take part in the reparations proceedings established under the Versailles Treaty. The Foreign Office assumes that such a waiver is intended but it would like to have a direct statement saying so.