462.00R296/4744: Telegram

The Ambassador in Great Britain (Dawes) to the Acting Secretary of State

273. From Gibson: Reference is made to the Department’s telegram of July 27, 5 p.m., No. 239. The discussions which we have carried on with regard to the Belgian difficulties have accorded entirely with the attitude which has been outlined by the Department. For the past 10 days conversations have continued between the Belgians and the Germans, but no prospect is seen so far for an agreement in the near future. Very great concessions are being demanded by the Belgians; and I have reason to know that there is no chance of their obtaining their end. In all likelihood we will not become involved in this problem, since, in my opinion, the Germans will not agree to anything more than an adjustment of the marks claim, while the Committee of Experts would stand unanimously against any such complete concession on all points as the Belgians are asking for. Although in my conversations with the Belgians, I have explained very clearly to them the character of the demands which they have put forward, and have emphasized the fact that they are expected to bear their share of the sacrifices provided for by the Hoover plan, it seems preferable to me that the opposition to these demands should come from other quarters, while our attitude is temporarily reserved until the time seems opportune for speaking out.

As soon as a settlement satisfactory to the British has been reached with respect to the special terms which France is demanding for Yugoslavia within the reparations adjustment scheme, it may be possible to reach a satisfactory solution of the marks claim. It would [Page 188] seem that the British perceive the fact that Germany is willing to agree to more favorable terms with regard to our Mixed Claims awards as well as to the marks claim than are provided for by the Franco-American Agreement. The British, in consequence, would appear to be tacitly encouraging the holding back of these special cases from the attention of the Committee until the general principles of the application of the Hoover proposal are agreed to and these cases can then be brought up in such a way as to avoid setting precedents which might be cited as reasons for similar special treatment by other Governments.