740.00119 PW/2–2846: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Winant )87

secret

1868. In the near future the US Govt will propose to the countries represented on the Far Eastern Commission that there be established [Page 481] an Inter-Allied Reparations Commission for Jap. One function of this Commission would be the final allocation of Jap external assets among the various claimant countries. The US Govt is preparing a general policy statement on this allocation for submittal to Commission. You are requested to explore informally the views of the Brit Govt on this question. A similar request is being forwarded to Moscow and Chungking. As basis for such discussion the U.S. Govt is now thinking along following lines: (1) Title to all Jap owned property in countries at war with Jap and invaded or occupied by the Jap shall be taken by the country in which such property is physically located, with its value charged against that country’s reparations claim; (2) countries actively engaged in the war with Jap but not occupied or invaded by the Jap shall keep Jap assets within their territory up to the value of reparations claims approved for them by the Reparations Commission, but if there are additional assets, they shall be made available for general allocation; (3) countries at war with Jap but not active participants shall make Jap assets within their territory available for disposition by the Reparations Commission; (4) assets of the Jap in neutral countries shall all be made available for distribution to meet claims of countries that were at war with Jap; (5) Jap property in Korea or its equivalent value shall be turned over to the Joint Commission in trust for the Korean people and the future govt of Korea as recognition of Korean suffering at the hands of the Jap and in order to assist Korea in becoming economically independent of Jap.

Jap external assets to be disposed of under these policies would include all assets, except precious metals, currency and evidences of title, owned on V–J Day by Jap nationals repatriated or to be repatriated to the Jap home islands, or by Jap persons (juridical included) domiciled in areas under Jap control on Dec. 7, 1941 or at any time after Dec. 7, 1941. To be excluded under these policies is all property held by the Jap on V–J Day which is declared restitutable under policies laid down by inter-Allied agreement.

Byrnes
  1. Repeated as No. 349 to Moscow and as No. 367 to Chungking; quoted “for information only” to Paris as airgram A–539, May 14.