Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Dr. Leitner, German Chargé d’Affaires, called and presented the attached notes84 which request a postponement of the amount due from the German Government to the United States Government on the 30th day of September, 1934, on account of the Army of Occupation indebtedness. I told him that I would have the notes translated and give them attention.
He immediately proceeded to remark that he had received and read the note of yesterday from my government to his government,85 in reply to the recent German note on German indebtedness generally that was due in the United States.86 He stated that he had received no instructions whatever from his government in regard to this note handed him on yesterday. He then added that he was disappointed that nothing was said in the note indicating a disposition to develop trade relations or otherwise to confer relative to plans and methods that might be calculated to make more possible some of these debt payments by the German Government.
I replied that after all the billions of money poured out in his country by Americans to aid it in getting on its feet, and with the attitude of his government now presenting such a hopeless outlook to American creditors, no one scarcely felt like saying anything or suggesting anything. I reminded him that Germany from 1924 to 1929, inclusive, borrowed from external sources over 4 billions of dollars, and borrowed more than half of this in the two years 1927 and 1928. I further reminded him that the two billions of dollars borrowed during these two years was more than five times the amount payable in reparations.