462.11 W 892/35

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Germany ( Houghton )

No. 3055

Sir: Referring to the Department’s telegram No. 87 of June 22, 1922, I enclose herewith a copy of the draft Agreement96 therein communicated to you. The Agreement was telegraphed to you with a view to expediting consideration of it by the German Government. It is not improbable that some errors may have occurred in transmission, and if such is the case, a corrected copy should be furnished to the Foreign Office.

[Page 249]

While any objections or modifications which the German Government may suggest should be promptly telegraphed to the Department for its consideration, it is deemed advisable to furnish you with a brief statement of the considerations which the Department had in mind in framing the draft and which you may communicate to the Foreign Office in the sense of the following:

As the German Government has already been informed, it is considered very desirable that action should be taken as soon as possible with a view to determining the amounts of claims against the German Government. In connection with the action required for that purpose, it is not necessary to raise financial questions concerning particular methods of payment. The draft Agreement in its Article I states matters to be passed upon by a Mixed Commission. These matters are covered more particularly by provisions of the Treaty concluded between the United States and Germany on August 25, 1921, and of the Treaty of Versailles, which provisions will naturally be considered by the Commission in making its decisions. Some of the claims such as those specified in paragraph (1) of Article I of the Agreement might have been passed upon by the Mixed Arbitral Tribunal provided for under Article 304 of the Treaty of Versailles. This Tribunal, however, was not created by the two Governments within the period specified for its establishment, and an appropriate method of carrying out the purposes of determining the amounts of all claims would appear to be to have the several categories of claims enumerated in the draft passed upon by a mixed commission such as is provided for in Article II of the draft Agreement. The establishment of the commission would not necessarily interfere with desirable private settlement of claims or settlements of any particular class of claims according to arrangements that might be made between the two Governments.

With a view to enabling the Commission properly to deal with the great amount of labor which will necessarily devolve on it, provision has been made in the second paragraph of Article IV of the draft for the employment of necessary officers to assist in the performance of the Commission’s duties.

The friendly proposal of the German Government that the President of the United States should name a prominent American citizen to take over duties which it is understood would be in the nature of those of an umpire naturally prompted an endeavor to obtain a man of eminent qualifications for this position. Mr. Justice Day is such a person. There is enclosed herewith a brief sketch of his official career.97

I am [etc.]

Charles E. Hughes
  1. Not printed; see supra.
  2. Not printed.