Walker to Chifley and Makin

Cablegram 90 PARIS, 17 December 1945, 5.48 p.m.


REPARATIONS 13 The Inviting Powers yesterday tabled the draft final act including recommendation that Government conclude an agreement on reparation shares, on establishment of agency, and on restitution of monetary gold as set out in the final act.

The intention is that delegates should sign this recommendation and that the Government should then designate persons qualified to sign the agreement on their behalf if acceptable. The agreement will probably enter into force as soon as majority of represented countries have signed. Assuming that I shall be able to sign recommendations Wednesday [1] I shall then airmail the final text, probably with request that you indicate within a fortnight whether the Government will sign agreement as drafted and who is authorised to sign on the Government’s behalf.

Percentage shares now tabled are much as forecast my telegram 12 [2] of this series except that the United Kingdom waives the right to participate in plant renounced by the United States. This brings French percentage for plant to 22, Australia to 0.9, New Zealand to 0.5. Allocation of 2.2 renounced by Canada will be discussed Monday when the whole table will be considered. Suggest you cable Paris direct any further views, since it is hoped to complete the final act on Tuesday and sign on Wednesday.

The draft agreement will include also the following recommendations which I propose to sign since they seem reasonable:

(1) German assets held by each United Nation to be charged against its reparations share. German property Venezia Julia to be held by Military until Territorial jurisdiction settled.

(2) Monetary gold found in Germany will be divided in proportion to respective losses of gold by looting.

(3) A reparations share of 25 million dollars to be allocated to non repatriable victims of Germany. Fund to be provided from non monetary gold, mostly wedding rings and gold from teeth found in concentration camps, and from German assets held in Neutral countries. Administered by Board of Trustees answerable initially to Reparations Agency but later to United Nations. This typical American proposal is opposed by Yugoslavia because benefits do not extend to Spanish victims of France. Other delegates, though not enthusiastic over practical details, feel bound to support the proposal on sentimental grounds and I think it will be adopted.

(4) Neutral countries will be pressed to surrender German assets in any case.

Declarations by particular countries, to which we need not be committed by my signature of final act, and will not be included in the draft agreement, cover- 1. Restitution.

2. Property in Germany of United Nations and their nationals. [3]

3. Desirability of using existing stocks and current production for reparations in addition to industrial plant.

I shall ask for the right to indicate Australia’s adherence to any of these later if the Government so decides.

The Conference will not discuss patents or technical processes. I have discussed the question with Waley and Angell [4] who advise the Australian Government to make our representations direct to the United Kingdom or the United States in London or Washington, rather than inviting general discussion by all countries here represented which would only complicate the situation from our viewpoint.

The Conference should finish on Wednesday.



1 Walker was authorised to sign the final act in cablegram P38, dispatched 19 December. On file AA : A1066, H45/1015/11.

2 Cablegram 86, dispatched 14 December. On the file cited in note 1.

3 Points 1 and 2 completed from London copy. In AA : A2937, Reparations.

4 U.K. and U.S. delegates respectively.


[AA : A1066, H45/1015/11]