462.11 W 892/2387

The Under Secretary of State (Phillips) to the Legal Adviser (Hackworth)

Mr. Hackworth: The German Ambassador called to present a proposal, under instructions from his Government, with respect to the Mixed Claims Commission. He pointed out that the Umpire had now rendered a decision44 which was to the effect that all the matters presented in the evidence were irrelevant to the issue except those relating to fraud; in the 6,000 pages of evidence which had been presented to the Umpire it was claimed that there might be fraudulent evidence and a new opportunity was given to present evidence on such points; [Page 502] the Ambassador said that Mr. Loumann had recently received a letter from Mr. Bonynge saying that he, Mr. Bonynge, was in search of new evidence in accordance with the Umpire’s ruling; the German Government was now confronted, added the Ambassador, with the possibility of an indefinite continuation of the proceedings and this was strongly objected to; the German Government, therefore, proposed that the State Department take over the evidence which had been presented to the Umpire and make up its own mind whether there was any evidence of fraud contained therein; the Ambassador was certain there was no such evidence and that when this point was determined the Department should withdraw the case from the Umpire; legally, he said, he had no doubt the State Department was able to take this action.

I explained to the Ambassador the very serious complications which would be involved in any action by the State Department which would give the appearance of interfering with a court procedure—and that this international commission set up for the judication of claims was, in fact, a court. I said, however, we would be glad to study his suggestion and see whether we could do anything in the circumstances which would hasten a winding up of the commission because, as he knew, the State Department was very anxious to terminate the proceedings as quickly as possible.

William Phillips
  1. Decision rendered on December 15, 1933. See Mixed Claims Commission, United States and Germany, Decisions and Opinions From January 1, 1938, to October 30, 1939 (Excepting Decisions in the Sabotage Claims of June 15 and October 30, 1939) and Appendix, pp. 1115–1128.