Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Perkins) to the Secretary of State 1


Subject: Vesting of Hungarian, Rumanian and Bulgarian Government Owned Assets now Held by the Office of Alien Property.


The Treaties of Peace with Hungary, Rumania and Bulgaria2 give the United States the right to seize, retain and liquidate all property, rights, and interests in the United States on September 15, 1947 belonging to Hungary, Rumania and Bulgaria or their nationals within the limits of United States claims against those countries which have not been satisfied under other articles of the Treaties of Peace. The three governments concerned have taken no steps to honor their obligations to compensate American nationals’ losses incurred as result of the war.

In view of the rights given to the United States under the treaties and in view of the present state of relations between the United States and the three countries concerned, it is suggested that the Department request the Office of Alien Property to proceed with vesting action against assets which are owned by the three governments and which were blocked in the United States pursuant to Executive Order 8389 as amended.3 There would be excluded from such vesting diplomatic and consular property of these governments as provided by the treaties. It is the view of the interested divisions that assets belonging to private citizens of these governments should not be vested at the present time.

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It is understood that approximately the following government owned assets are presently held by the Office of Alien Property:

Rumania $19,256,000
Hungary 253,000
Bulgaria 2,304,000

The attached letter is a request that the Office of Alien Property proceed with vesting action against the assets concerned, the technical details and timing to be worked out between the Department officers and officers of the Office of Alien Property. The action will be held up pending the outcome of the Vogeler appeal or until such time as it is determined that the action will have no prejudicial effect on Vogeler’s situation.


It is recommended that the attached letter be signed.4

  1. The source text is initialed by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Llewellyn E. Thompson.
  2. For the texts of the Treaties of Peace with Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria, all signed in Paris, February 10, 1947, and entered into force on September 15, 1947. see TIAS 1651, 61 Stat. 2065, or 41 UNTS 135 (for Hungary); TIAS 1649, 61 Stat. (2) 1757, or 42 UNTS 3 (for Romania); TIAS 1650, 61 Stat. 1915, or 41 UNTS 21 (for Bulgaria).
  3. 7 Federal Register 2168.
  4. The proposed letter, signed by the Secretary of State, was sent to Attorney General J. Howard McGrath on March 29, 1950; not printed (611.69231/3–2950). Soon after the despatch of the letter a Nationalization Claims Policy Committee was established to prepare recommendations on policy regarding claims of American citizens for property nationalized or otherwise taken by the Soviet Union or its Eastern European satellites.