The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Germany ( White )
48. 1. On February 15 the final installment of evidence in the sabotage cases pending before the Mixed Claims Commission, United States and Germany, was submitted by the American Agent to the German Agent. Since that time the Department has sent several notes to the German Embassy and has had a number of conversations with officials of the Embassy, in an endeavor to ascertain whether the German Government expects to file counter evidence. The Embassy has just reported that the question cannot be answered until Mr. Paulig,94 who is now in Berlin, returns to Washington toward the end of the present month.
2. In addition to the sabotage cases there has been pending before the Commission for some time a small group of claims on which tentative settlements were reached by the Agents of the two Governments more than a year ago. These settlements cannot be made final until they have been submitted to the Commission and awards have been entered. The Department has been urging upon the Embassy continuously since the agreements were reached that they be submitted to the Commission, but the German Government has not thus far given its consent. It has contended that this should not be done until the sabotage cases have been disposed of.
3. These delays are extremely embarrassing to the Department and are impeding the final closing of the work of the Commission, which both Governments have expressed a desire to expedite.
4. The American Agent cannot complete the preparation of his brief on the sabotage cases until it is known whether counter evidence is to be filed by Germany. If the German Government could now state that it does not intend to file any counter evidence in the sabotage [Page 491] cases and would authorize its Agent to present the tentative settlements in the other cases to the Commission it would greatly facilitate the work. It is understood that the Foreign Office is thoroughly conversant with the situation.
5. Please take up matter informally with Foreign Office at once and say that if the German Government could now give us a definite answer on each of these questions it would greatly facilitate matters and might avoid the necessity of asking Congress for a further appropriation for the claims work. You may state that this latter point is extremely important, in view of the approaching adjournment of Congress.
- Richard Paulig, German Agent on the Mixed Claims Commission, United States and Germany.↩