Editorial Note

The Hungarian Nationalization Law of December 28, 1949, called for the surrender of shares in certain industry and transport organizations in Hungary to the Hungarian Government. On March 3, 1950, the American Legation in Budapest presented a note to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry protesting against the denial of compensation for American-owned property seized by the Hungarian Government and the discrimination against American interests through the exemption from nationalization of Soviet interests under the Hungarian Nationalization Law. The note further declared the United States Government reserved all rights on its own behalf and on behalf of its nationals, and it called upon the Hungarian Government to enter into negotiations for the prompt settlement of its obligations. Also on March 3, the Department of State issued a statement to the press announcing that the United States could not accept the conditions of the Hungarian Nationalization Law of December 1949 and was, on its own behalf and on behalf of American nationals, espousing the claims for compensation arising out of nationalization and other seizures of property by the Hungarian Government. Americans who had claims arising out of such action were requested to give the Department information about them. For the text of the Legation note of March 3 and the Department of State statement of the same date, see Department of State Bulletin, March 13, 1950, page 399.

In a note of March 20 to the Legation in Budapest, the Hungarian Foreign Ministry rejected the contentions of the Legation’s note of March 3, reviewed aspects of the Hungarian Nationalization Law of December 1949, and expressed readiness to enter into negotiations on compensation for nationalized American properties. The note took occasion to protest the expulsion in April 1948 of the Hungarian Restitution Mission from Western Germany by American occupation authorities and demanded that the problem of restitution be considered at the same time American compensation claims were discussed. For the text of the Hungarian note, see Documents on the Hostile Activity of the United States Government, pages 151–152.