740.00119 EW/4–845: Telegram
The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Winant )
2965. From Lubin. The following refers to your telegram 3590 of April 8 which I am sure you read and signed but which I am willing to bet you did not write.
1 Although there was apparent agreement on the point that restitution may be worked out in EAC on the terms suggested in Department’s 2663 April 5, I am disturbed by the last paragraph of your reference telegram.
I fully agree that all property in enemy country should not be lumped together for reparations purposes. On the other hand while the Department’s policy has been to advocate restitution of all identifiable looted property (subject to qualifications known to you) I understand that the Department still deems it desirable that the restitution of productive equipment should be treated as a separate category and should be limited by reparations principles. While productive equipment like other looted property may be considered in EAC, it should be borne in mind that the problems of possible conflict with or subordination to reparations principles are particularly acute where such equipment is concerned. For this reason as well as the possibility that on the basis of the French views restitution of such property is likely to merge into replacement or even into reparations in kind, the principle of the restitution of large amounts of productive equipment should be avoided as far as possible.
2 Is it possible for you to judge possibility that Russians may object to separate discussion of restitution in EAC? This possibility would be relevant to preparations for Moscow talks.
3 Department concurs with substance of above. [Lubin.]