Prospects for Quadripartite Restitution Law in Germany Fade As British Reverse Stand

Prospects for four-power agreement on a restitution law which would be applied to all of Germany faded considerably today when the British representatives, at a meeting called to discuss formulation of a uniform law, opposed the American draft, which they had previously supported.

The British have been backing the American position that heirless Jewish property be turned over to a Jewish Rehabilitation Fund, as opposed to the Soviet-French position that such property go to whatever German governmental authority is set up. However, they now oppose the American stand, but do not support the Soviet-French position, leaving their own attitude a mystery.

The British reversal lessens the chances of agreement on at least a bi-zonal restitution measure, if the four-power talks fail, as seems likely. It is expected that official announcement of the failure of the talks will be made in about ten days and bi-zonal discussions will be initiated.

The American delegates are reportedly extremely pessimistic and inclined to believe that eventually they will have to promulgate in the American zone the measure adopted early this year by the four Minister-Presidents of the provinces in the U.S. zone.

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