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Tripartite Gold Commission (TGC)

Released by the Bureau of European and Canadian Affairs, U.S. Department of State, February 24, 1997

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History

In September 1946, the United States, Britain, and France established the Tripartite Commission for the Restitution of Monetary Gold (TGC). The commission has its roots in Part III of the Paris Agreement on Reparation, signed on January 14, 1946 concerning German war reparations. Under the 1946 Paris Agreement, the three Allies were charged with recovering monetary gold looted by Nazi Germany from banks in occupied Europe and placing it in a "gold pool."

Claims against the gold pool and subsequent redistribution of the gold to claimant countries were to be adjudicated and executed by the three Allies. The Allies founded the TGC for exactly this purpose and located it in Brussels. The TGC was not responsible for the recovery of the gold: The Allies themselves recovered all monetary gold from occupied Germany and from neutral nations to which the Nazis had transferred it.

The Gold Pool Distributions

Recognized claims against the monetary gold pool, as determined by the TGC, greatly exceeded the amount of monetary gold actually recovered. Therefore, in accordance with the terms of the 1946 Paris Agreement (signed by all claimants), the TGC established a proportional redistribution system under which each country would receive approximately 65% of its recognized claim.

Most of the gold in the pool was redistributed to claimant countries in the 1940s and 1950s in the form of "quasi-final" payments. Various factors complicated payments to some claimant countries until very recently. The last country to receive a "quasi-final" payment was Albania. That payment took place on October 29, 1996.

With the completion of the Albania distribution, a total of 5.6 metric tons of monetary gold (worth about US$60 million) now remains in the TGC's accounts at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and at the Bank of England. This remaining monetary gold represents the sum of money that was withheld from claimant countries. It is not "residual'' or "leftover."

Swiss Gold in the TGC Gold Pool

The Allies negotiated separate treaties with each neutral country that held Nazi assets at the conclusion of the war. The 1946 Washington agreement is the Allies' treaty with the Swiss Government that addresses the question of monetary gold, along with other Nazi-asset issues. Under the terms of the Washington agreement, the Swiss transferred 250 million Swiss francs-worth of gold to the gold pool administered by the TGC.

Switzerland's payment to the gold pool was accomplished by transferring gold from the Swiss National Bank's account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York into an account established for the TGC. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has confirmed that all of the gold transferred from the Swiss National Bank account consisted of U.S. assay bars. None of this gold remains in the TGC account today.

TGC Operation

The U.S., United Kingdom, and France run the TGC through their Commissioners. Currently, the three nations' economic counselors in Brussels serve this function. The only staff consists of the Secretary General, Emrys T. Davies. The TGC rents office space in the British chancery in Brussels.

Claimant Countries

Albania
Austria
Belgium
Czechoslovakia
Greece
Italy
Luxembourg
Netherlands
Poland (including Danzig)
Yugoslavia

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