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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1948. Eastern Europe; The Soviet Union
(1948)

Yugoslavia,   pp. 1054-1118 PDF (25.0 MB)


Page 1060


FOREIGN RELATIONS, 1948, VOLUME IV
slav expropriation under various pretexts including nationalization,
alleged axis collaboration, and other pseudo judicial subterfuges, of
the property, business interests, etc. of American citizens and corpora-
tions in Yugoslavia. American-owned assets in Yugoslavia were esti-
mated by the Treasury Department as of May 3i1, 1943 to have
amounted to 50.3 million dollars. US corporations and citizens have
submitted to the Department statements indicating claims totalling in
excess of $42,300,000.
  There are also certain items such as the service on Yugoslav bonds,
etc. which were placed on the agenda for negotiation but have not been
reached for discussion.
  3. Following various previous informal representations both in Bel-
grade and in Washington, the Yugoslav Government informed the
Department in March 1947 that it desired to undertake negotiations
with regard to unblocking Yugoslav assets in this country. In a sepla-
rate communication that Government also indicated that it was pre-
pared to discuss the settlement of US claims for nationalized property
in Yugoslavia. In response -to these approaches the Department in-
formed the Yugoslav Government that it would welcome such nego-
tiations, which, if agreeable to the Yugoslavs, should include in
addition to the above matters the "settlement of lend-lease accounts
be-
tween Yugoslavia and the US and any other financial claims of one
Government against the other which have arisen subsequent to the
outbreak of war." The Yugoslav Government indicated its willingness
to proceed with such negotiations which began on May 19, 1947.
  4. a) In the course of the negotiations which have been conducted
since May 19 the Yugoslavs have agreed to the principle of a lump
sum settlement. They have further agreed to the principle of the settle-
ment of the lend-lease and Plan A accounts through the payment of
local Yugoslav currency which the Department desires to use in con-
nection with the operation of the Embassy in Belgrade and to purchase
Government quarters in Yugoslavia. However, the Yugoslavs have
offered only 5,187,000 dollars for what they term direct American in-
vestments in Yugoslavia and the equivalent of approximately 300,000
dollars in local currency in settlement of lend-lease and Plan A. They
have based their figure of 5 million so-called direct investments upon
a Department of Commerce estimate published in 1942 which that
Department reports to have constituted only an extremely rough esti-
mate covering a strictly limited category of investments. The Depart-
ment of Commerce considers its figure superseded by subsequent
Treasury estimates such as those noted above. The Yugoslavs express
complete unwillingness to accept responsibility or pay compensation
for the two airplanes or to reach agreement at this time upon the
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