The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in Germany (Gordon)
70. Your 96, June 9, 5 p.m. Please call at the German Foreign Office and after appropriate oral discussion of the matter, leave an aide-mémoire on the following lines:
“You are instructed to call attention to reports that the President of the Reichsbank stated at his recent conference with foreign creditor interests that he was giving consideration to discriminating in the treatment of creditors of different countries in accordance with the German balance of payments vis-à-vis each particular country, being reported to have illustrated the idea by stating ‘for instance, all the European countries differ favorably in this regard from the United States of America and amongst the European countries there are some which give us a greater chance to export and therefore there is greater balance in our favor from commerce than with others’. The adoption of a principle whereby the payment of a debt of a German debtor to a non-German creditor should be made to depend on the ratio of imports and exports in the exchange of goods and services between Germany and the creditor’s country would be an unprecedented departure from the rule of [Page 442]non-discrimination among creditors. The adoption of such a policy by Germany would have a most unfortunate repercussion on opinion in the United States in view of the confidence in German credit which has led American investors to purchase some $1,200,000,000 of German bonds, thus furnishing an indispensable element in the economic and financial restoration of Germany after the war. The Government of the United States cannot believe that the reported expressions of the President of the Reichsbank represent a policy which could receive serious consideration by the Government of Germany.”
You should keep in close touch in this matter with the American delegation at London which is being instructed to make such use as it deems appropriate of this action.