GHDI logo

The Reparations Settlement and Germany's Peacetime Economy: Statement by the U.S. State Department (Press Release of December 12, 1945)

page 5 of 6    print version    return to list previous document      next document

require United Nations aid in financing and possibly in paying for minimum imports necessary to prevent disease and unrest. Even after substantial capital removals have been completed, it is doubtful that the German economy can operate for some time up to the limits of remaining industrial capacity, due to the limited availability of fuel, food, raw materials, and the slow progress which can be made in filling the gap left by the Nazis in the economic and political organization of Germany. It is possible, and even likely, that the physical transport of reparation removals will limit transport capacity available for recovery of the German economy and for the expansion of exports. It is in this respect only, however, that the reparation policy laid down in the Berlin Declaration may require the United Nations to finance German imports for a longer period, or to pay for them in greater degree, than if no provision for reparation from Germany had been made.

10. During the next two years the United States and other occupying powers must finance minimum essential imports into Germany to the extent that exports from stocks and current production do not suffice to cover the cost of such imports. Since the Berlin Declaration makes no provision with respect to the German standard of living in the period of occupation, the occupying powers are not obliged to provide imports sufficient for the attainment in Germany of a standard of living equal to the European average. The present standard of supply in Germany, so far as the United States is concerned, is still governed by the 'disease and unrest' formula. Under the conditions set forth in paragraph 9, it will prove desirable to extend the type and volume of imports into Germany not only because of our interest in reactivating selected German export industries which would yield a volume of foreign exchange, and as far as possible to repay the past outlays of the occupying powers on imports. If, when the time comes for the conclusion of a peace treaty with Germany, there remains a backlog of unpaid imports, the occupying powers will have to decide whether or not to impose on Germany an obligation to pay off the accumulated deficit.

[ . . . ]

first page < previous   |   next > last page