740.00119 EAC/4–945

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Winant ) to the Secretary of State

3629. ReDepts 1220, February 26 [16],47 paragraphs 1 and 2.

In regard to the alteration in the United Kingdom restitution memorandum reported in Embassy’s 648, January 18, Coulson48 told Mosely and Penrose informally that United Kingdom officials agree that the return of property which has been the subject of official sequestration by Germany should be dealt with directly by the governments representing the former owners. The alteration of paragraph 7(1) of the restitution memorandum does not imply any change in this position.
United Kingdom officials are giving further consideration to the question whether a rule should be established to return looted property to the government having jurisdiction over the sites from which the property was taken (reDepts 418, January 18) 3(b) and the question whether the Commission should make binding determinations of the respective rights of Allied Governments concerning property in dispute (reDepts 418, January 18) 3(d). It does appear that United Kingdom officials conceive of a restitution body as adjudicating claims of title rather than determining original location. We will inform the Department of the results of further consideration of these points by United Kingdom officials as soon as possible.
  1. Not printed.
  2. John E. Coulson, Acting Head, Economic Relations Department, British Foreign Office.