740.00119 Control (Germany)/10–1745

The Secretary of State to the United States Political Adviser for Germany ( Murphy )

870. Reurtel 145 Oct. 17. Dept wishes to avoid at this time commitment to any general policy on confiscation of property and prefers to deal with each case on its merits. While property of convicted war criminals, Nazi party and affiliated and associated organizations thereof, as well as property of Wehrmacht should be confiscated without indemnification, Dept doubts wisdom of sweeping confiscation of property of industrial corporations. Such confiscation without indemnification would cause undue hardship and injustice in many cases and is not essential to policy of dispersion qf control and ownership being applied in German industry and banking. Stockholdings or other ownership interest of industrialists and bankers who had responsible part in preparing and organizing Germany for war might well be confiscated. In case of I G Farben, such approach would require exploration possibilities confiscation stockholdings Schmitz,58 Ilgner,59 other large stockholders responsible for planning and execution of industrial, commercial phases German aggressive war, but seizure or vesting, with indemnification (probably in reichsmarks or new German Govt bonds), of holdings of persons not so responsible. Since plants and assets I G Farben already vested, confiscation of part, vesting of remainder of stock would put corporate body in hands ACC,60 thus facilitate ultimate disposition of property at such time as I G Farben shall have been broken down into smaller independent individual entities, in accordance with whatever recommendations may be made on subject of cartels and combines.

Byrnes
  1. Hermann Schmitz, Chairman of the Board, I. G. Farben.
  2. Max Ilgner, Director, I. G. Farben.
  3. Allied Control Council.