763.72113 Mills Bill/19

The Chief of the Division of Western European Affairs (Castle) to the Assistant Secretary of State (Olds)

Mr. Olds: Doctor Dieckhoff30 came to see me at my request this morning in the matter of the possible German taxation of property which might be returned to German owners if the bill introduced by Representative Mills goes through Congress.

I told Doctor Dieckhoff that this was, of course, a Treasury Bill and that the Department of State was taking no active part in the matter. I said, however, that certain questions might arise which the Department would be requested to answer. I told him that the eventual return of this property, if made, would be on the theory that private property should not be confiscated and that the idea was to return it to the actual private owners. I said that the question would very probably be asked in the committee as to whether the German Government would levy such special taxes on this returned property as would make it actually pass into the hands of the German Government rather than that of the original owners. Doctor Dieckhoff said at the time the Winslow Bill went through [Page 136] Doctor Wiedfeldt, then Ambassador, had realized this question might arise and had made a statement to the Department that the German Government would not levy any special taxes. He said that Baron Maltzan, foreseeing the same possibility, had some weeks ago asked his Government and received permission to state categorically that if the property were returned no special taxes would be assessed against it.

Doctor Dieckhoff asked me if we wanted this in the form of a note. I told him that it would not be necessary, but that I should be grateful for a memorandum which could be used if the question arose. This memorandum he promised to send on Monday.

W[illiam] R. C[astle,] Jr.
  1. Counselor of the German Embassy.