462.00 R 296/2452

Memorandum Handed by the German Ambassador (Von Prittwitz) to the Secretary of State on October 30, 1928

(Content of Intimation by German to French, Belgian, British, Italian and Japanese Governments).

The representatives of France, Belgium, Great Britain, Italy, Japan and Germany having at their meeting in Geneva on September 16 unanimously ascertained the necessity of a comprehensive and definite settlement of the reparation problem and agreed to call a committee of financial experts of the six governments for this purpose, it appears desirable that these governments should take the necessary steps for the execution of the plan decided upon, so that the committee may begin its work. In the opinion of the German Government this would entail the following:

The Geneva agreement of September 1615 provides only for the calling of experts from the six countries there represented. It would, however, be welcomed by all concerned, if besides those experts, citizens of the United States could participate in the work of the committee. [Page 873] In such case it would be for the six governments to issue invitations to such American citizens as they may agree upon to join in the deliberations of the committee.

It appears desirable that the committee should be composed in the same manner as the first committee of experts instituted in 1923, of independent persons of financial competence who enjoy international reputation and authority in their own country and who are not bound by any governmental instructions. The number of members should not exceed three from each country.

The committee should meet as soon as possible at a place to be selected from considerations of practical expediency, as which the German Government would welcome the city of Berlin to be chosen.

The mandate of the committee having been defined in the Geneva agreement as a “complete and definite settlement of the reparation problem”, it should be asked to make suggestions for such definite and complete settlement of the problem.

When the six governments have come to an understanding on the above procedure, they would inform the Reparations Commission thereof and invite its future cooperation to the end that the proposals which the committee may make, are, after their acceptance by the governments concerned, put into effect.

  1. See London Times, Sept. 17, 1928, p. 12.