Paris (Feb. 23)
Two drafts of a law providing for the restitution of property seized from Jews and others under the discriminatory legislation of the Vichy regime and during the German occupation were today before the Consultative Assembly, the was submitted by the Government and the other by the Socialist Party.
The Government draft was signed by Gen. de Gaulle and by the Ministers of justice, Finance and National Economy. The original text, which ovoked much criticism, has been considerably altered, but the draft is still considered defective on many grounds, both regarding the principle involved and the procedure it establishes for the recovery of the property. Both proposals will undergo lengthy scrutiny by a special commission to which they have been referred.
As drafted, the government established a distinction between those whose property was transferred without their consent and those who gave their consent. In the former case, the acquirers of the property are held to have acted in bad faith and the transfers are voided. These cases will come before the president of the civil tribunal sitting as a referee – which is the quickest French legal procedure. But since the defendant has the right of appeal, the recovery of the property can be delayed for month. Those who gave their consent for the transfer of their property, will have to prove that they acted under duress.