662.0031: Circular telegram

The Secretary of State to Certain Diplomatic Representatives 2

Below is a text of a note which has been delivered to the missions in Washington of the following countries: Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Greece, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Turkey. London and Paris will please notify the respective Foreign Offices.

“The Secretary of State presents his compliments to the Honorable the Ambassador of (name of country) and has the honor to make the following communication on the subject of exports from the United States zone of occupation in Germany.

It was decided at the Potsdam Conference that, in order to prevent Germany from becoming a financial liability to the countries providing her essential imports, means had to be found to provide funds to pay for such minimum imports as were agreed by the responsible occupying authorities to be necessary to the German economy.

Paragraph 19 of Part III of the Protocol of the Conference, therefore, contains the following provision:

‘Payment of reparations should leave enough resources to enable the German people to subsist without external assistance. In working out the economic balance of Germany, the necessary means must be provided to pay for imports [Page 1540] approved by the Control Council in Germany. The proceeds of exports from current production and stocks shall be available in the first place for payment for such imports.’

In implementation of this provision, the Control Council in Germany reached an agreement on September 20, 1945, that the Occupying Powers should require payment for exports from Germany at the rate of not less than 80% of the price set on such exports by each Zone Commander.3

In accordance with the above-mentioned decision reached at Potsdam and the implementing agreement made in the Control Council, it will, therefore, be necessary to require payment for all exports from the United States zone of occupation other than exports of capital equipment made available as reparations and looted property subject to restitution. Payment will be received on behalf of the Control Council and will be in United States dollars for the time being, although in special cases it may later prove possible to arrange for payment in some other currency acceptable to the Control Council. Payment will normally be required in full and, in any event, at a rate not less than 80% of the established price, on the understanding that if payment is not required in full it will be without prejudice to any future requests for further settlement, and that such arrangements will be kept under constant review and altered as conditions require or permit. Provisional prices will be fixed by the Commander-in-Chief of the United States zone and bills will be presented to the government of the country receiving the goods on the basis of delivery at the German frontier or under such arrangements, in special cases, as may be convenient. Prompt payment will be required in accordance with normal commercial practice. The requirement for payment will be applied to all exports subsequent to August 1, 1945.”

  1. Sent to the diplomatic representatives in Oslo, Copenhagen, The Hague, Brussels, Luxembourg, Athens, Prague, Belgrade, Ankara, Bern, Stockholm, London, Paris, Rome, and to Berlin and Vienna for the United States Political Advisers in Germany and Austria, respectively.
  2. See telegram 487, September 10, 9 p.m., from Berlin, p. 1527.