462.00R/2–946: Airgram

The Chargé in Venezuela (Dawson) to the Secretary of State

A–43. Decree promulgated February 6 confiscates funds, bank accounts, assets of German and Japanese Governments and nationals. Funds resulting from this measure are to be used to indemnify Venezuelan Government and citizens for losses resulting from war, compensate Government for extraordinary expenses which have been incurred because of Axis aggression and in fulfillment obligations of international solidarity, and facilitate immigration into Venezuela of victims of German and Japanese aggression. Among exceptions to confiscation are earnings of Venezuelan spouses, inheritances corresponding to Venezuelan spouses and children, and contributions of Venezuelan or United Nations partners in firms into which Germans or Japanese have entered. Natives of Germany and Japan whose nationality has legally or in fact been deprived them as act of political hostility are also excepted. The following are considered to be extenuating circumstances which German or Japanese may allege in effort to be exempted from confiscation: demonstrated non-approval [Page 1325] of aggression by their countries, having rendered eminent services to Venezuela or United Nations or humanity, permanent residence in Venezuela since prior 1931, marriage with or parenthood of Venezuelans, having formed their patrimony in Venezuela, etc. Condition implicit in foregoing is having abstained from acts hostile to Venezuela or United Nations.

To carry out provisions of present decree an Administration of Nationalized Properties is created and also a tribunal for war reparations. Work of tribunal is to be finished within period of one year and work of administration within one year after tribunal work is completed. Former Commission of Control of Properties Subject to Intervention is terminated.

In view of broad discretionary powers conferred on tribunal, decree will have only such effectiveness as tribunal desires.

Embassy will prepare further report on present decree when opportunity has been had for careful study and discussion with Venezuelan officials concerned.