The Acting Secretary of State to President Wilson
Dear Mr. President: I spoke to you the other day about a conversation I had with a representative of certain banking interests in New York regarding the use of Treasury notes of the French Republic [Page 138]in this country in payment for purchases by that Government. Since then I have had conversations with representatives of other banking interests in New York, which relate to a similar type of loan to Russia as well as to France. You will also recall that this same subject was dealt with in a memorandum handed me by the Russian Ambassador a few days ago,8 which you returned with an oral explanation as to the attitude of this Government.
I have gone over the matter pretty carefully with these gentlemen and without comment submit in a memorandum, for your consideration, what I consider to be their views in regard to the situation. I have told them that I could make no statement until I had laid the matter before you. They naturally are anxious to know as soon as possible what your views are.
I should hesitate to ask your direction in this matter, were it not for the fact that there is evidence of a desire on the part of these institutions to do nothing which would in any way embarrass the Government or go contrary to your wishes, even if the law permitted them to do so.
Very sincerely yours,