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German Reparations Talks to Be Resumed at the Hague Today

Negotiations between the West German Republic and the State of Israel, based on the German offer to pay Israel $715,000,000 in reparations in the form of goods, will be resumed tomorrow at Waasenaar, near The Hague. Negotiations between Germany and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany will also be resumed.

Formal negotiations broke down in April when the German delegation was unable to make a firm and binding offer to Israel but only “recommendations” to the Bonn Government. Following a series of informal negotiations, the German Cabinet approved a firm and binding offer last week which was not subject to the outcome of the London conference on Germany’s external debts. Under this proposal, the full amount which Germany accepted as due to Israel would be paid over a period of 12 years.

(In Jerusalem, a Government spokesman said today that the Cabinet had heard a report last night from Premier David Ben Gurion on the German reparations situation. He said the Israel-German talks would be resumed “probably within the next few days.”)

The Times of London, in an editorial on the situation, said that it was “only reasonable” that Germany do her share in resettlement of Jewish refugees in Israel. It blamed the Germans for the previous breakdown in the German-Israel negotiations, accusing the German delegation of having departed from both the spirit and letter of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer’s original undertakings and of having sought to make Israel take “her place in the queue of nations claiming war damages of an ordinary kind.”

The new offer to Israel, it said, was clear and binding in the sense stipulated by the Israel Parliament and did not depend on the outcome of the London conference on Germany’s external debts. “It seems to provide a reasonable basis for the negotiations that have just been resumed,” the paper said.