US Department of Treasury Policy on Axis Looted Gold

22 Feb 1944

ww2dbaseSecretary [Henry] Morgenthau [Jr.] today issued the following declaration:

On January 5, 1943 the United States and certain others of the United Nations issued a warning to all concerned, and in particular to persons in neutral countries, that they intend to do their utmost to defeat the methods of dispossession practiced by the governments with which they are at war against the countries and peoples who have been so wantonly assaulted and despoiled. Furthermore, it has been announced many times that one of the purposes of the financial and property controls of the United States Government is to prevent the liquidation in the United States of assets looted by the Axis through duress and conquest.

One of the particular methods of dispossession practiced by the Axis powers has been the illegal seizure of large amounts of gold belonging to the nations they have occupied and plundered. The Axis powers have purported to sell such looted gold to various countries which continue to maintain diplomatic and commercial relations with the Axis, such gold thereby providing an important source of foreign exchange to the Axis and enabling the Axis to obtain much-needed imports from these countries.

The United States Treasury has already taken measures designed to protect the assets of the invaded countries and to prevent the Axis from disposing of looted currencies, securities, and other looted assets on the world market. Similarly, the United States Government cannot in any way condone the policy of systematic plundering adopted by the Axis or participate in any way directly or indirectly in the unlawful disposition of looted gold.

In view of the foregoing facts and considerations, the United States Government formally declares that it does not and will not recognize the transference of title to the looted gold which the Axis at any time holds or has disposed of in world markets. It further declares that it will be the policy of the United States Treasury not to buy any gold presently located outside of the territorial limits of the United States from any country which has not broken relations with the Axis, or from any country which after the date of this announcement acquires gold from any country which has not broken relations with the Axis, unless and until the United States Treasury is fully satisfied that such gold is not gold which was acquired directly or indirectly from the Axis powers or is not gold which any such country has been or is enabled to release as a result of the acquisition of gold directly or indirectly from the Axis powers.

It is understood that a similar declaration is being issued simultaneously by the United Kingdom Treasury and by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. ww2dbase



Source: United States Government Printing Office; courtesy of Yale Law School Avalon Project
Added By: C. Peter Chen





Share this article with your friends:

 Facebook  Reddit
 Twitter  Digg
 Google+  Delicious
 StumbleUpon  


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Visitor Submitted Comments

1. james jones says:
24 Jul 2017 01:32:38 AM

see 2 books containng the facts not ouright lies by oss macarthur and the us govt who stole $200 billion from the phillipines alone .12 nations were looted by the jap bastards and no compensation has ever been paid .asian loot and the gold warroirs - the real truth .author of 42 books mech engineer ex colonel special forces sas

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments
Security Code
 

 

Note: We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

Search WW2DB & Partner Sites


Famous WW2 Quote
"Goddam it, you'll never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"

Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943