1941.02.13-14.De Nutter McClennen and Fish.A Georges F. Doriot.Boston.Notes
Copies de notes
February 13, 1941
My recommendation is this: That Eastern Provinces recognise that question may be raised by one or more individuals or governments or corporations as to the extent of Eastern Provinces' authority in the first place with respect to the administration of these funds, and secondly as to paying them over to anyone. Among the people whom it is suggested might have some interest are the following:
The Boston Corporation
Some one hundred individuals
One or more Dutch governments
The Swiss government
One or more French governments
The Canadian Foreign Funds Control
The United States Foreign Funds Control.
Possibly there are others.
The degree of confidence with which any one of the foregoing, or others, might be asserted as the possible tender entitled to these assets varies with the persons suggesting it and the considerations which move them. But this statement of the situation seems to me important as indicating that Eastern Provinces should recognise that there is a problem and, having recognised that there is a problem, that there should be a determination, as nearly as may be, as to who is ultimately entitled to these funds.
The safest course which it could adopt, it seems to me, is not to take instructions from any one or more of the foregoing, or to seek instructions from any of them, but wholly to ignore them until such time as an actual claim is made or until the international situation becomes stabilised. At that time it should be possible, at the very worst by payment of the funds into the courts of the countries in which they are actually located to get what is known in the law as a judgment in rem, i.e., judgment against the particular assets, such a judgment, if proceeded by notice to all known possible contenders and by publication, would be binding on everyone concerned and on the assets and should protect everyone concerned.
In the meantime my suggestion is that Eastern Provinces should take all possible steps to preserve the assets in its hands and, lacking some new circumstances indicating authority to change investments and, perhaps, lacking particular circumstances in which it is incontrovertible that a shift of assets will result to the benefit of the fund, no changes in investment - and, of course, no withdrawals - should be made or permitted.
[En-tête de Nutter McClennen & Fish]
February 14, 1941
Professor Georges P. Doriot
Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration
Soldiers Field Cambridge, Massachusetts
I am enclosing two copies of the memorandum prepared in Montreal last night in relation to the recommendation made at the meeting of Directors of Eastern Provinces.
Yours very truly,