740.00119 EW/2–2046: Telegram

The United States Political Adviser for Germany (Murphy) to the Secretary of State


567. Reference our telegram 169, January 19, transmitting quadripartite definition of restitution, below is substance of paper presented to RD and R Directorate giving interpretation by US member.

The word “force” as used in the first two subparagraphs of paragraph 2 is interpreted by the US delegation to include:
Property otherwise restitutable which was removed from the territory of the claimant nation by order of the German civilian or army occupational authorities; and
Property otherwise restitutable where no order was issued. This will be returned where the German occupying army, civilian administration, of individuals obtained the property by means of a direct threat of physical force, such as of the use of superior numbers or weapons.
Concerning the third sub-paragraph of paragraph 2. The US delegation interprets the phrase “all other property” to be all property removed otherwise than by force.
The phrase “consistent with reparations” is taken to mean that where property was not removed by force, it may be restituted only where the same object does not come within the reparations program.
As an example of the effect upon restitution claims of the concept [Page 505]of force, there may be cited the case of machine tools removed from occupied territories and found in reparations industrial plants. If force was used in the removal of these machines, they are to be restituted to the country from which they were taken. If force was not used, they must go with the rest of the plant to the country receiving the plant as reparations. However, if the machine tools go as reparations, the country from which they were originally taken may be compensated from such classes of German property as are determined not to be subject to reparations and are otherwise available for the purpose of compensation.