BONN (May. 21)
The West German Government today indicated that it does not intend to break off the reparations talks with Israel and the Jewish groups from other countries. A government spokesman said that the Cabinet last night refused to accept the resignations of Prof. Franz Boehm and Dr. Otto Kuester, leading German negotiators at The Hague reparations conference.
Meanwhile, it became known today that the elements in the West German Government which oppose acceptance of compensation to Israel as a moral obligation with top priority also oppose the agreement reached at The Hague between the German delegation and the representatives of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. Chief opponent is Finance Minister Fritz Schaeffer.
The German Finance Minister particularly objects to the part of the agreement which provides that persecuted Jews who regained property taken from them by the Nazis are to be exempted from the “equalization of burdens” law. Mr. Schaeffer is understood to be demanding that the exemption be limited to 20 percent.
(The New York Times today quoted Jewish sources in Bonn as declaring that in the last few days a clause that would have required the Bonn Government to assume the liabilities accruing from Nazi Germany’s confiscation of Jewish-owned property had been changed so that it provided an escape clause through capacity to pay in accordance with the prevailing German civil code. In addition, the joint restitution office, under which an earlier phraseology of a convention was to have been exempted from a variety of taxes under the equalization of burdens legislation was said to have lost this exemption under a revised wording of the clause.)