The Yugoslav Legation to the Department of State
The Royal Yugoslav Government was not able to accept the proposal of a one year moratorium on inter-governmental debts, inasmuch as this proposal did not, either in its original or its final form, take into consideration the special conditions of Yugoslavia. In general, neither of the interested Powers wanted even to negotiate with the Yugoslav Government on this question.
Not accepting the moratorium proposal the Yugoslav Government had, of course, the intention to continue the regular payment of the annuities in due terms to the United States of America, to Great Britain and to France. In the meantime, however, the proposal of the President of the United States of America has been put into effect for Yugoslavia equally, without the consent of its Government. The Yugoslav Government protested against such inequitable proceedings to the Bank of International Payments but, so far, has not got satisfaction.
Maintaining its legal viewpoint, which, in its opinion, is the only correct one, namely that international obligations cannot be cancelled by a unilateral act and that, in consequence, the proceeding by which a moratorium was given, without the consent of the Yugoslav Government, to Germany also with respect to Yugoslavia, is not equitable, the Yugoslav Government wishes to state that this moratorium has, in fact, been put into effect also relative to Yugoslavia, and that by the will and the decision of the Powers which are her creditors for war debts. Whereas Yugoslavia is not legally bound in this matter, the creditor Powers, which proposed, concluded and put into effect this moratorium without the consent of the Yugoslav Government, are bound even legally, and consequently, cannot expect Yugoslavia to pay them the sums due this year, unless it would be recognised that this moratorium is not valid in so far as Yugoslavia is concerned and unless they give orders accordingly to the Bank of International Payments. In that case the Yugoslav Government would at once and without delay pay the bond which is due this year.
In December of last year the same communication was made to the Royal Government of Great Britain.