763.72113 Mills Bill/69

The Austrian Minister (Prochnik) to the Secretary of State

No. 1505/70

Excellency: In my note of April 2nd, 1926, regarding the bill introduced in the House of Representatives by Mr. Mills providing for the payment of the awards of the Mixed Claims Commission and the return of property held by the Alien Property Custodian I had the honor to indicate to Your Excellency the willingness of my Government to negotiate for a fair and suitable settlement of whatever amount the Tripartite Claims Commission adjusting claims of American citizens against the Austrian Government may in its findings charge against the latter.

I have now received specific instructions which will enable me to enter into negotiations with the appropriate branch of the Government [Page 137] of the United States aiming at a solution acceptable to both sides, by which Austrian property held by the Alien Property Custodian in security for payment of future awards to be stipulated by the Tripartite Claims Commission may be replaced by another security of equal or even better quality and rate, thus removing the grounds for further retention of the former.

While the Austrian property in trust with the Alien Property Custodian loses a great deal of its value as a security in face of the attitude stoutly maintained by the United States in regard to inviolability of private property, the agreement, I hope to reach, shall provide for more tangible collaterals and actual payment of the final awards of the Tripartite Claims Commission.

As I mentioned in my previous note all our efforts after successful reconstruction of the public finances, are now bent on recovering private economics. Business and production in Austria are at this very period undergoing a severe crisis which could only be overcome with the aid of foreign and domestic capital. In this connection the early release of Austrian private property held in the United States has become a problem of great importance. It is under this pressure of necessity that my Government in spite of the many obstacles of a technical and material nature undertook the rather difficult task of preparing the ground for the negotiations I have the honor to propose to Your Excellency.

Trusting that the United States Government fully realizing Austria’s actual situation and need will readily support steps leading towards an early return of Austrian property by an Act of Congress, I have the honor to request Your Excellency to kindly have me advised at Your earliest convenience as to the person or persons, with whom I may take up the matter in question.

Accept [etc.]

Edgar Prochnik