The Hoover Moratorium
By the early 30's, the Great Depression was full blown in Europe. Herbert Hoover the President of the U.S suggested an idea that had the possibility of aiding the international economic crisis, as well as allowing time for recovery.
Hoover issued a public statement in June that suggested a one year moratorium on the reparations and war debts of World War 1, also postponing the interest. This proposition was not popular, American's had their doubts, However the most disapproval came from France. France felt as if extracting every last mark from Germany was their duty.
By July 6th Hoover had already achieved support from 15 nations for the moratorium. However he did not attain actual approval by Congress until December, when the legislators pointedly ignored the president's request to review the war debts dilemma. Instead, Congress issued a declaration stating opposition to any restructuring of obligations owed to the United States of America. Even with Hoover's plan, little to no signs of a change in the economic decline was evident. Germany was gripped by a major banking crisis, Britain deserted the gold standard, and France made it clear that the one year delay would soon expire and the issues would need to be addressed once again.
There was one last push to find an appropriate solution to the war debt and reparation issues made at the Lausanne Conference in mid 1932, before the expiration of the moratorium. This failed due to the U.S's refusal to cancel Allied war debts.
Once the moratorium had finally expired, a handful of former Allies continued to make at least token payment to the U.S., but in the end only Finland was willing and able to discharge its obligation fully.
Timeline surounding the Hoover Moratorium
1931 - Great depression was in full effect throughout Europe.
1931 June - Hoover suggested the moratorium.
1931 July 6th - 15 nations joined the moratorium.
1931 December -Congress approved the moratorium.
1932 - Lausanne Conference