868.51 War Credits/681

The Minister in Greece (MacVeagh) to the Secretary of State

No. 452

Sir: In reference to the Department’s instruction No. 122 of August 31, 1934,1 have the honor to report that the Department is correct in its understanding that the decisions of the International Financial Commission are taken by an absolute majority of the voices. Article 3 of the Greek law BФIθ, of February 26, 1898, governs the Commission’s procedure in this respect. That article (which it is believed [Page 546] was erroneously mentioned as “Article II” in the Department’s instruction) reads in the French text (in part) as follows:

“Les décisions de la Commission Internationale seront prises à la majorizé absolue des voix.”

When, however, pertinent questions arise not specifically contemplated under the provisions of the law and requiring its modification, it appears that the Delegates of the Commission are obliged to seek instructions, and the decisions taken must be on the unanimous agreement of their respective Governments. Mr. Aldridge, Second Secretary of this Legation, has discussed this whole matter fully with Mr. Roussin, the British Delegate on the Commission, who explained that certain actions, such as that of reducing interest payments, not provided for under the provisions of Law BФIθ, must obviously be considered as requiring its modification, and he cited in this connection Article 38, which reads, in French (in part) as follows:

“La présente loi ne pourra être modifiée qu’avec l’assentiment des six Puissances.”

As the Department will observe from the Legation’s enclosure to the present despatch, this provision of Article 38 was subsequently amended, by the terms of Law No. 2683, of August 10/23, 1921, to read instead of “six Puissances,” “trois Puissances.”

In regard to the recent payment of $196,128.00 to the United States Government, therefore, the three Delegates on the International Financial Commission requested and received instructions from their respective Governments to release the funds necessary, the unanimity involved being on the part of the Governments and expressed through the delegates. The Legation’s despatch No. 325 of July 30, 1934, was possibly somewhat misleading in conveying the impression that the French delegate rather than his Government was responsible for delaying the release of the funds.

For the Department’s information I enclose the French text of Greek Law No. 2683,13 above referred to, modifying certain provisions of the basic law BФIθ of February 26, 1898. The text is submitted in French as it was received in this form from Mr. Roussin.

Respectfully yours,

Lincoln MacVeagh
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