The Secretary of State to the German Ambassador (Luther)

Excellency: I have received your note of May 7, 1934,97 informing me that, following the suggestion contained in my note of February 20, 1934, all cases that were pending before the Mixed Claims Commission, United States and Germany, have been disposed of, with the exception of the sabotage claims registered in Docket Nos. 8103, 8117, 8231 to 8296, both inclusive, 8361, 8362, 8363, 8371 to 8450, both inclusive, 8467 and 14901; and the claim of Mrs. Katherine McNider Drier, Docket Nos. 4712 and 11485.

As to the claim of Mrs. Katherine McNider Drier, covered by Docket Nos. 4712 and 11485, you state that your Government prefers to leave this matter before the Commission for the time being, as the German Government has recently been advised that the material submitted by Mrs. Drier, on the basis of which the Commission granted her an additional award of $250,000 plus interest in 1929, appears to be not beyond suspicion; that an investigation has accordingly been started which will require a little time for completion; and that the case should be left for later decision, as are the so-called sabotage cases.

I regret that the German Government is unwilling to have this case closed along with the other cases on which agreements were reached by the two Agents in February of last year. The claim was [Page 493] the subject of discussion between the American and German Agents and counsel for the claimant at various times, and on February 27, 1933, an additional amount of $160,000 was agreed upon. The German Agent, so I am informed, stated that he could not give his final approval to the settlement until he had consulted his Government. It appears that later, namely, on March 1, he informed the American Agent that his Government had approved the settlement, and this information was conveyed to counsel for the claimant.

Since that time the claim has been included in the list of claims on which tentative settlements had been reached, and prior to the receipt of your note of May 7, 1934, no condition was stated, except that the work of the Commission be promptly closed. The present correspondence is calculated to limit the work of the Commission so as to bring its work to an end at the earliest practicable date. The failure to settle this claim in accordance with the understanding reached more than a year ago is placing the claimant and this Government in an embarrassing position, since both had relied upon the agreement reached and had considered the case as definitely settled, save for the formal consummation of the arrangement.

If the case is left before the Commission, it will be necessary to give the claimant time to marshal additional evidence to combat any evidence that the German Government may submit, which will mean that the completion of the work of the Commission will be indefinitely postponed. The amount involved is comparatively small.

It is therefore hoped that on further consideration your Government will deem it desirable to give finality to the settlement heretofore reached in the Drier case.

I agree with Your Excellency that the Commission shall not in future be asked to consider any new cases or cases already decided, other than the sabotage cases and the case of Mrs. Katherine McNider Drier.

Accept [etc.]

Cordell Hull
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