Proposal by the United States
, July 17, 1945.]
The Allied Commission on Reparations has agreed on seven basic
principles (text attached).
Principle for Decision.
The Commission has failed to reach agreement on the underscored last
clause of an eighth principle:
“After payment of reparations, enough resources must be left
to enable the German people to subsist without external
assistance. In working out the economic balance of Germany,
the necessary means must be provided for payment of imports
approved by the governments concerned before reparation deliveries are made from current
production or from stocks of goods.”
The United States Government fully concurs in these principles and
must insist that such necessary imports as are approved by our
governments shall constitute a first charge against exports from
Germany of current production and stocks of goods. To do otherwise,
will lead either to a repetition of our mistakes at the end of the
last war, or leave us unable to
bring about the desired industrial disarmament of Germany.
Definitions and Allocation of
The United States proposes immediate agreement on definitions of
restitution, war booty, and
reparations (text attached). The Commission has agreed on a formula
for allocation of reparations between the U. S. S. R., U. K. and U.
S. and a procedure for settling the division of reparations among
other countries (texts attached).
The United States Government feels that the definitions of
restitution, war booty, and
reparations are so interrelated with the formulae for allocation of
reparations that agreement must be reached on all of these matters
Agreed Principles of
- Removals of property for reparations shall be primarily
such as to assist in bringing to an end the war-making power
of Germany by eliminating that part of Germany’s industrial
capacity which constitutes war potential.
- Reparations shall be such as will speed recovery and
reconstruction in countries devastated at German
- For the purposes of making a reparations plan, Germany
will be treated as a single economic unit.
- Any plan of reparations shall be avoided which
necessitates external financial assistance either to enable
reparations deliveries to be made or to facilitate economic
reconstruction required for reparation purposes, or which
might, in the opinion of the Governments concerned,
prejudice the successful execution of the task entrusted to
the Armies of Occupation.
- To a maximum extent reparations shall be taken from
existing national wealth of Germany. While for convenience
claims may be stated in money, it is necessary to bear in
mind that in contrast to reparations after World War I which were assessed and
exacted in money, this time reparations will be assessed and
exacted in kind in the form of things, such as plants,
machines, equipment, stocks, foreign investments,
- In order to avoid building up German industrial capacity
and disturbing the long term stability of the economies of
the United Nations, long run payment of reparations in the
form of manufactured products shall be restricted to a
- In justice to those countries occupied by the enemy,
reparations shall be calculated upon the basis that the
average living standards in Germany during the reparation
period shall not exceed the average of the standards of
living of European countries. European countries means all
European countries excluding U.K. and U.S.S.R.
The United States proposes that:
Restitution shall be confined
to identifiable artistic, religious and cultural objects
existing at the date of the invasion of the territories
from which such objects have been removed, insofar as
such objects can be recovered and irrespective of the
form of dispossession by which they came into enemy
hands. While any nation entitled to reparation may be
allowed a prior claim for the return of certain other
particular types of identifiable property removed by the
enemy, the value of [Page 834] such property, if returned, shall be
entered on the reparation account of such nation.
War booty shall be limited to
finished equipment and supplies produced for and
belonging to the German armed forces exclusive of any
facilities used to produce such equipment or
- Except for property transferred as restitution, war booty or exports to pay
for approved imports, all property in the territory
within the boundaries of the German Reich as it existed on
December 31, 1937 shall be subject to reparations.
Agreed in the Allied Commission on
In accordance with the principles established at the Crimean
Conference, namely, that the countries entitled to the greatest
share of reparations are those which have borne the main burden
of the war, have suffered the
heaviest losses and have organized victory over the enemy,4 the Allied
Commission on Reparations agrees that the total sum of
reparations (including both what is received on account of
removals from the national wealth of Germany and what is
received from annual deliveries after capitulation) will be
distributed as follows:
Of the total
|U. S. A.
To meet the validated claims for reparations on the part of the
other nations, as determined by mutual agreement of the three
powers, each of the three powers will give up from their share
in the ratio that each share bears to the total.
Agreed in the Allied Commission on
Procedure for Settling the
Division of Reparations Between Countries Other Than the U.
K., U. S. A., and U. S. S. R.
1. The Allied Commission on Reparations will send a communication
as soon as possible through the Governments of the U. K., U. S.
A., and U. S. S. R. inviting all the United Nations that have
taken a direct part in the war
with Germany to submit within one month to the Allied Commission
on Reparations through their Diplomatic Representatives in
Moscow, or otherwise, statements showing data [Page 835] for establishing their
reparations claims against Germany and the value of German
pre-war assets in their territory. The nature of the data to be
submitted will be determined subsequently.
2. On receipt of the data the Allied Commission on Reparations
will decide as a basis of discussion on a provisional list of
countries entitled to receive reparations and also on the
percentage to be allotted to each of them.
3. The Allied Commission on Reparations will in such form as is
found to be convenient enter into negotiations with the United
Nations whose claims to reparations are considered to be well
founded with the object of securing their agreement to the
percentage of reparations which has been provisionally suggested
by the Allied Commission on Reparations.
4. If the said negotiations with the United Nations whose claims
to reparations have been recognized are successful the Allied
Commission on Reparations through the member Governments will
send to these nations a further communication inviting them to
take part in a special conference for the conclusion of a
general agreement on reparations between the interested
If however the preliminary negotiations prove not sufficiently
successful to make it possible to call a conference of this kind
the Allied Commission on Reparations will consider afresh in the
light of the factual material in its possession the question of
the further steps required.
5. A Communication will be sent to the United Nations whose
claims to reparations have not been approved informing them of
the decision of the Allied Commission on Reparations with an
indication of the reasons for that decision.