T H E I N T E R-WA R Y E A R S

to the owners of nationalised assets by shipping 3,800,000 tons of coal over fifteen years starting in 1951. The Memorandum was ratified in March 1948.

As regards Belgian assets, a first Memorandum of Understanding was signed in January 1948. It provided for Poland to transfer 2 million Belgian francs worth of compensation in the form of 4.6 million tons of coal to be shipped over fifteen years. However, a few months later, the Memorandum failed to be ratified as by then Belgian coal production far outweighed what the market could absorb, and the national press protested against the prospect of an invasion of Polish coal. In December 1962, after many twists and turns, Poland and Belgium finally signed a bilateral agreement, which was ratified in 1963 and took legal form in 1966. The compensation to be paid by Poland was fixed at 600 million Belgian francs, to be paid in annual instalments as a percentage of total Polish exports to Belgium.

Jean-Louis Moreau René Brion

Geoffroy de Lassus