763.72113 Mills Bill/15

The Chief of the Division of Western European Affairs ( Castle ) to the Under Secretary of State ( Grew )

Memorandum of conversation between the German Ambassador and Mr. Castle on Saturday, March 20, 1926.

Mr. Grew: The German Ambassador came in to say that he thought the Mellon Bill, which was to be presented shortly to Congress for the settlement of American claims and the return of alien property, had been greatly improved since he talked about it in the Department with Mr. Olds and with me some time ago.25 He said that he felt the new wording as to payment of late claims rather covered the point which he had made before, that the Germans would not agree to have these claims considered unless the Bill went through. In other words, that their promise must be conditional. He said that the way the Bill was worded now practically covered his objections. He left with me an informal memorandum, attached hereto,26 which memorandum was drawn up to point out the few objections the Germans have left as to the settlement. Maltzan reiterated his belief in the exceeding importance of getting this Bill through promptly because all Germany had received with acclaim the belief that America was going to settle matters promptly and he felt that if now the Bill should not go through, the present friendly feeling toward America would rapidly change to a strong dislike. For another reason he said it was exceedingly [Page 131] important and this was that Germany, intending to keep up the Dawes annuities, was in the middle of a bad financial crisis and could not sufficiently export because of lack of capital in the hands of manufacturers. He said that if this money now held by the Alien Property Custodian were turned over it would immediately be expended in the United States for copper and cotton, which would be in Germany manufactured for export to Russia and that from these Russian exports Germany would receive money to pay the Dawes annuities. I made very little comment on what he had to say.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

W[illiam] R. C[astle,] Jr.
  1. See memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State, Feb. 4, p. 127.
  2. Not printed.