In distinction from the practice ruling in the case of most similar cessions in recent history, the property and persons of private German nationals, as distinct from their Government, are also injuriously affected. The Allied Government exercising authority in any former German colony “may make such provisions as it thinks fit with reference to the repatriation from them of German nationals and to the conditions upon which German subjects of European origin shall, or shall not, be allowed to reside, hold property, trade or exercise a profession in them." All contracts and agreements in favor of German nationals for the construction or exploitation of public works lapse to the Allied Governments as part of the payment due for Reparation.
But these terms are unimportant compared with the more comprehensive provision by which “the Allied and Associated Powers reserve the right to retain and liquidate all property, rights, and interests belonging at the date of the coming into force of the present Treaty to German nationals, or companies controlled by them,” within the former German colonies. This wholesale expropriation of private property is to take place without the Allies affording any compensation to the individuals expropriated, and the proceeds will be employed, first, to meet private debts due to Allied nationals from any German nationals, and second, to meet claims due from Austrian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, or Turkish nationals. Any balance may either be returned by the liquidating Power direct to Germany, or retained by them. If retained, the proceeds must be transferred to the Reparation Commission for Germany’s credit in the Reparation account.
In short, not only are German sovereignty and German influence extirpated from the whole of her former oversea possessions, but the persons and property of her nationals resident or owning property in those parts are deprived of legal status and legal security.
(3) The provisions just outlined in regard to the private property of Germans in the ex-German colonies apply equally to private German property in Alsace-Lorraine, except in so far as the French Government may choose to grant exceptions. This is of much greater practical importance than the similar expropriation overseas because of the far higher value of the property involved and the closer interconnection, resulting from the great development of the mineral wealth of these provinces since 1871, of German economic interests there with those in Germany itself. Alsace-Lorraine has been part of the German Empire for nearly fifty years—a considerable majority of its population is German speaking—and it has been the scene of some of Germany’s most important economic enterprises. Nevertheless, the property of those Germans who reside there, or who have invested in its industries, is now entirely at the disposal of the French Government without compensation, except in so far as the German