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Tripartite Commission on German Debts


Following extensive discussions in London during July of 1951, the Tripartite Commission on German Debts, whose members were Sir G. Rendel (United Kingdom), F. D. Gregh (France) and W. L. Pierson (United States), met again in London on November 26, 1951, with the delegation of the German Federal Republic, headed by H. J. Abs. The meeting was held to discuss the question of the settlement of Germany's debt in respect of postwar economic assistance received from the governments of the United Kingdom, France and the United States and, in addition, to discuss matters relating to the preparation for the international conference on prewar German debts which was to be held in London early in 1952 with the representatives of creditors from all countries having a significant interest in the matter. At the beginning of the meetings the German delegation was informed of the details of the tripartite postwar claims, the totals of which were as follows: United Kingdom, £201,000,000; France, $15,700,000; and United States, about $3,200,000,000. The priority of these postwar economic assistance claims over all other claims had been recognized in an exchange of notes of March 6, 1951, between the Allied High Commission and the government of the Federal Republic. The three governments had already made it clear, however, that they would be prepared to modify that priority in order to make possible a comprehensive and equitable settlement of the remainder of Germany's external debt. They expressed a willingness to make important concessions, both in respect to priority and the total amounts of their claims, on the clear understanding that the concessions were conditional on the achievement of a satisfactory and equitable settlement of Germany's prewar debts.

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1 For summaries of the tripartite commission's earlier deliberations, see International Organization, V, p. 646, 829.

21 Department of State, Bulletin, XXV, p. 737, 894.

4 Ibid., p. 1021; XXVI, p. 476. For an account of the background of the negotiations and the considerations which influenced western policy, see ibid., XXVI, p. 473–477.

5 Ibid., XXV, p. 1021.

6 Ibid., XXVI, p. 206.

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International Organization
  • ISSN: 0020-8183
  • EISSN: 1531-5088
  • URL: /core/journals/international-organization
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