No. 135

ECA message files, FRC 53A278, Paris: Telegram

The Administrator for Economic Cooperation ( Foster ) to the ECA Mission in Belgium 1

restricted   priority

Ecato 344. Information officer from ECA/W info. Following release to be issued 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Wash., Tuesday, June 26. Suggest you may wish to issue simultaneously:

1. ECA today announced final agreement among Govts Belgium, Luxembourg, Greece and U.S. on problems that arose out of attachment by private Belgian company of MP credits for Greece.2

2. Agreement provides that Govts Belgium & Luxembourg will make available immediately to Greece funds equivalent to sum attached.

3. These funds will be used by Greece in two ways. Under first, Belg francs equivalent of about $2.7 million will finance cost of 45,000 tons of steel items to be shipped to Greece for Greek railways at prices specified in original contracts with Belg-Lux suppliers. Under second, Belg francs equal to balance of credits attached will be made available Greece. Greece may use latter funds to pay for any other goods or services originating in Belg-Lux, or Greece may add them by mutual agreement to credits available to her in EPU for settlement intra-European payments positions.

[Page 285]

4. Agreement stems from ECA investigation of non-delivery of steel which 20-odd Belg-Lux companies were to have supplied Greek Govt for Greek railways. Filling of contracts for steel was originally held up because MP credits to Greece, provided for orders, were attached by private Belg company.

5. Funds still under attachment by Belg company amount to $6,188,000. Belg-Lux agreed in May that ECA should withhold equivalent sum from their MP dollar allotments, pending Belg-Lux Govt efforts to get original contracts filled.

6. 45,000 tons steel items which will now be shipped to Greece represent more than half of undelivered tonnage and, together with tonnage previously shipped, constitute 70% of total called for in original orders. Because of sharp price increases since negotiation of original contract. Belg-Lux suppliers felt that they were no longer obligated to provide steel items at old contract prices, but finally agreed to supply 45,000 tons on original terms.

7. Belg-Lux Govts have also agreed that funds now set aside for Greece will be immune from attachment in their two countries, and that final deliveries of 45,000 tons of steel will be completed within 6 months after Greek Govt specifies to suppliers types and quantities steel materials desired.

8. In addition, Belg-Lux Govts will take over Greek Govts interest in funds attached by private Belg company. Belg-Lux have agreed they will not have any claim against ECA, EPU or Govt Greece should all or any part of amounts attached not be released to Belg-Lux Govts.

9. In meantime, pending deliveries of steel and other goods or release of funds to Greece for EPU payments, ECA will continue to withhold MP dollars equivalent to sum attached by private Belg company.

  1. Sent also to Paris and Athens. Drafted by J. L. Newman of ECA and cleared in ECA by Ebb, Weininger, and Assistant Administrator for Program Paul R. Porter.
  2. See footnote 5, Document 129.