462.00 R 296/855: Telegram

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

45. L–317 [from Logan].

Reference Department’s L–197. Article 4 of agreement15 entitled “Belgian war debt” reads as follows:
  • “(a) As from the 1st September 1924, 5 percent of the total sum available in any year after meeting the charges for the service of the German external loan 1924 and the charges for costs of commissions; costs of United States Army of Occupation; annuity for arrears of pre 1st May 1921 army costs; prior charge for current army costs; and any other prior charges which may hereafter be agreed, shall be applied to the reimbursement of the Belgian war debt as defined in the last paragraph of article 232 of the Treaty of Versailles.
  • (b) The amounts so applied as in any year shall be between the powers concerned in proportion to the amount of the debts due to them respectively as at 1st May 1921. Pending the final settlement of the accounts France shall receive 46 percent, Great Britain 42 percent, and Belgium (by reason of her debt to the United States of America) 12 percent”.
It will be noted from foregoing that Belgium not the United States receives 12 percent “by reason of her debt to the United States.” It will also be noted that 12 percent basis only tentative and “pending the final settlement”.16
Belgians agree that they will turn this money over to us on account of their debt to us. It will be observed from foregoing that our debt position with Belgium in no way compromised by foregoing. Confidently feel that I can make arrangements for Belgians to use this 12 percent in marks for payment account their deliveries in kind from Germany, we subsequently taking equivalent in Belgian francs, thus overcoming difficulties that might be presented by transfer committee in getting these marks across foreign exchange. Request Department cable me tentative text of letter for Belgians to send me which will meet our angle of situation. Anticipate no difficulty in having it signed. Logan.
  1. See agreement regarding distribution of the Dawes annuities, Jan. 14, 1925, vol. ii, p. 133.
  2. The Belgian percentage was later increased to 14.7.