462.00 R 294/193: Telegram

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


170. For Wadsworth. W–29.

From your W–34 of April 24 it cannot be ascertained whether the suggestions for possible compromise set forth in’paragraph 5 of my [Page 166] W–23 of April 13, have been pressed and if so what was the disposition of the Allied representatives thereon. I am anxious to have your direct candid judgment as to whether Allied offer can be improved before instructing you further.

It appears from the last part of your W–28 that Allies might yield on paragraph 2 of the 6th article.15 As proposed this paragraph would be most embarrassing to the United States. It may be important to make arrangements for the payment by Germany to the United States of the equivalent of the private property now held belonging to Germans which property is held under the treaty until suitable provision for payment of claims is made by Germany. The United States should be completely free to make such arrangements without affecting the annuities under the agreement proposed. We cannot accept an arrangement placing us in less advantageous position than we now enjoy and paragraph proposed including broadly all possible forms of payment by Germany could not for these reasons be allowed, as well as for reasons already indicated in preceding correspondence. It is most important that this Government reserve liberty of action to deal hereafter with this matter and the equity of this position should be recognised by the Allies. This statement is not for use before further instructions are sent you but in order that before the instructions are sent we may have the immediate advantage of your views.

  1. Telegram W–28 not printed. Par. 2 of art. 6 of the original draft as transmitted in telegram W–33, Apr. 24, reads as follows:

    “In case that in the course of the execution of the present agreement the Government of the United States should take measures to receive payments in cash direct from Germany or deliveries in kind from Germany without payment or with partial payments or should pass a reparation recovery act or any similar legislation and should not charge against the total of these payments in cash or the value of deliveries in kind not paid to Germany or the produce of this reparation recovery act or of any similar legislation during any particular year the total of the costs of the American Army of Occupation up to the amount of the annual installments due to America during that year, the European Governments reserve to themselves the right of abrogating the present agreement.” (File no. 462.00 R 294/192.)