ECONOMICS: Scrambled Booty

European property rights, deliberately scrambled by Nazi looters, will keep courts and lawyers busy for years after the war. The U.S. Government got a relatively simple taste of the problem last week when it tried to figure out what to do with a hoard of gold, foreign currency and art treasures captured by General Patton's Third Army in a German salt mine (TIME, April 16).

Basic rule: if it is militarily useful and workable, captured government property belongs to the government whose troops seize it. But, in 1943, the U.S. and 16 other United Nations promised to return any...

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