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

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

Page 1061

claims of certain recently naturalized American citizens and those of
American citizens wherein the original investment was made through
third countries. They have offered to leave blocked in this country
21/2 million dollars to cover claims not settled by the present negotia-
tions which they desire to discuss subsequently. They have failed to
furnish information concerning the status of various American assets
in Yugoslavia including certain lend-lease P-T boats and have denied
representatives of US claimants entrance into Yugoslavia to inspect
their clients properties.
  b) The Department has taken the position in these negotiations that
it would be prepared to settle for a lump sum payment in gold or
dollars for losses of American citizens in Yugoslavia generally, such
sum also to include compensation for the two airplanes, the jeep, etc.
We suggested the figure of 20 million dollars as an acceptable com-
promise in this regard. In accordance with standing policy we insist
on the inclusion as American citizens of persons whose citizenship was
American at the time the claim arose. As regards lend-lease and Plan
A we have indicated our readiness to accept local currency in Yugo-
slavia. We offered to accept the equivalent in Yugoslav dinars of 3½/2
million dollars in this connection. We have, in accordance with statu-
tory requirements, requested the return of the P-T boats.
  5. The Yugoslavs maintain that their treatment in regard to the
blocked gold and other assets is less favorable than that accorded other
United Nations. They emphasize their contribution to the war effort,
the problem of reconstruction in Yugoslavia, and refer to the fact that
the peace treaties with Italy and the satellites require compensation
for war damage, etc., amounting to only 2/3 the value of the property
whereas we demand full compensation for expropriated property.
They have also advanced arguments that our continued retention of
their assets is contrary to Bretton Woods. They have released to the
press the Yugoslav Ambassador's note of January 2, 1948 which sum-
marized most of the arguments which they have advanced in the course
of the negotiations.
  6. The Yugoslavs have placed the question of their frozen assets in
the US on the agenda for the next meeting (February) of ECOSOC.
  7. Various US legal firms have explored the possibilities of bring-
ing proceedings in US courts against Yugoslav assets here with a view
to satisfying American claims against Yugoslavia. US lawyers (Cou-
dert) representing King Peter have also made inquiries concerning
the possibility of his obtaining title to such funds. These firms have
not, to the Department's knowledge, instituted any actions in US
courts as a result of their consideration of the matter.

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