The Ambassador in Chile (Bowers) to the Secretary of State

No. 12,760

Sir: The Ambassador has the honor to refer to the Department’s telegram dated August 28, 1945,3 on the general subject of war claims for reparations from Germany. The text of the Department’s instruction on the subject has been transmitted to the Foreign Office in the Ambassador’s note no. 2726 dated September 12, 1945, which reads:

“The Ambassador of the United States of America presents his compliments to His Excellency, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Chile, and avails himself of this opportunity to convey to His Excellency’s government the text of a communication recently received from his government.

“In connection with the general subject of war reparations to be made by Germany, identical memoranda were recently presented by the United States, the United Kingdom, and France to the Yugoslavian, Union of South Africa, Norwegian, New Zealand, Netherlands, Luxemburg, Indian, Egyptian, Greek, Danish, Czechoslovakian, Canadian, Belgian and Australian missions asking those latter named countries to submit data not later than October 1, 1945, covering their war claims against Germany. Information was also requested as to German assets and their values which are now subject to the control of those countries.

“My government has requested that Your Excellency’s government be informed that the reason for not including the American republics in the invitation is the belief that the disposal of German assets in the Western hemisphere should be the subject of preliminary discussions among the American republics, as provided under resolutions nos. 18 and 19 of the recent Mexico City Conference.

“It was furthermore believed that the problems of the nations devastated by the war, whose claims will without doubt exceed the amount of German assets under the control of those nations, are very different from the problems of the American republics. The nations devastated by the war will have to have assets from Germany itself in order to arrive at partial satisfaction of their claims. On the other hand, the claims of the American republics, in the majority of cases, can be fully satisfied from the assets which are already subject to their control.

“The Government of the United States very soon will propose inter-American discussions with the goal of establishing principles relative [Page 781] to legitimate claims against the assets of Germany and for the disposition of the assets of Germany which are in excess of the legal claims in line with the needs for rehabilitation and reconstruction of the countries which were devastated by the war.

“The Ambassador of the United States of America avails himself of this opportunity to renew to His Excellency, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the assurance of his highest and most distinguished consideration.”

The Controls Commission, charged with the administration of Axis assets, indicated informally to the Embassy that they were pleased to learn that the United States Government was proposing inter-American discussions on the subject of establishing principles relative to legitimate claims against Germany. The Commission further indicated that the final disposition of German assets in Chile would be held in abeyance pending the inter-American discussions.

  1. Not printed.