800.515/8–745: Airgram

No. 997
The Chargé in the Soviet Union (Kennan) to the Acting Secretary of State

A 183. Safehaven.

Reference to my July 19, No. 2628 to Department, repeated to London as 371, Paris as 243, and Frankfort for Pauley, Harriman, and Clayton as 23,1 the following is a [the] text of the note referred to therein:

“You will recall that on June 18, 1945, Ambassador Harriman informed you of a proposal that the United States and British Governments, [Page 960] on behalf of the Powers occupying Germany, make a joint démarche to the Spanish Government with respect to the control of all German assets in Spain.2 In view of the reported action of your Government in issuing similar warnings to the Governments of Sweden and Turkey, my Government has been obliged to assume that the Soviet Government has no objection to the action described in Mr. Harriman’s letter. In the light of this situation, and of the general urgency of the matter, my Government feels it necessary to proceed to completion of the steps which Mr. Harriman has outlined.

“The Powers occupying Germany are, as has many times in the past been indicated, strongly interested in preventing the dissipation and concealment of German property and in making possible restitution of property looted by the Germans and held in neutral territory. In order to achieve these objectives, and acting in a capacity as trustee on behalf of the Powers occupying Germany, my Government will shortly, and in collaboration with the British Government, present its démarche to the Spanish Government proposing that the United States and British Missions in Madrid immediately assume control and active management of German property in Spain, including all corporations and other entities owned or controlled by the former German state. Similar steps have already been taken with respect to German official properties in Spain.”

Copies of this Airgram have been transmitted to London, Paris and Potsdam for Pauley, Harriman and Clayton.