The Secretary of State to President Wilson

My Dear Mr. President: I enclose copy of a communication which we have received from the French Ambassador.2

Since receiving the communication I have talked with him and explained to him that it is impossible to grant the first request for a partnership for the reason that it would be violating the spirit of the Monroe Doctrine and would open the door to all sorts of requests.

I told him that the Germans had already expressed a desire for a similar arrangement on the ground of their preponderating influence in business there.3

He did not press that matter and said that he would so inform his Government. I confirmed his views in regard to the equality of treatment mentioned in the latter part of the letter.

I think it would be well to write him a letter—it need not be long—stating these two ideas: [Page 466]

  • 1st. That the admission of any country to partnership in any political influence that we exerted there, would be inconsistent with the spirit of the Monroe Doctrine; and
  • 2nd. That whatever influence we exerted would be impartially exerted for the protection of the interests of the nationals of all countries.

As you wrote the note to the German Ambassador do you desire to write this one—or shall I make an answer in the sense of the above?

With assurances [etc.]

W. J. Bryan