File No. 868.51 War Credits /11

The French Ambassador ( Jusserand) to the Secretary of State 1


Mr. Secretary of State: I have had the honor by my note of the 20th of last month,2 in particular, to bring before Your Excellency the Greek Government’s application for a loan and the needs growing out of the present war which such a loan would meet.

I had for my part, and in compliance with a wish of the American authority, asked my Government to specify, as accurately as possible, what those needs were.

I have just been informed in reply that the question was referred to a mixed Franco-Anglo-Greek commission and that, in addition, in so far as we are concerned Mr. Sergent, of the Bank of France, has been intrusted with a mission to Greece and is to look into the financial need of Greece, her own resources and the share of her military expenses she is able to defray.

[Page 572]

An allotment has already been decided on, between France and England, with respect to the supplies needed by the Greek Army and which will be furnished by the two countries. This refers to artillery, ammunition, horses, equipment, victuals, transportation.

But the same inquiry brought out the fact that certain kinds of supplies could not be had in the two countries concerned and that the United States must be appealed to, particularly with respect to the following commodities:

Khaki cloth, 2,100,000 meters; Corozo buttons, 10,000,000; cotton fabrics for shirts and drawers, 6,000,000 meters; khaki and white thread, 5 tons; shoe nails and thread for 500,000 pair; leather for uppers, 250,000 kilos; sugar, 3,000 tons; cold storage meats, 20,000 tons; dried vegetables other than rice, 5,000 tons; oats, 45,000 tons; coffee, 2,400 tons.

Those needs are apportioned in ten months’ installments beginning in January next, and it would be of the greatest importance to effect the first deliveries about the end of November. The Inter-Allied Committee at London is looking after the tonnage which those supplies call for. The first outlay would amount to about $16,000,000.

The Allies would be greatly thankful to the American Government if it would kindly, in the interest of the common cause, coincide in their views and accordingly place immediate order for such of those commodities as must be manufactured, especially the cloth and fabrics, and agree to the opening of suitable credits to be charged, if the authorities concerned are willing, to the contemplated $50,000,000 loan which has no doubt already been proposed to the Government of the United States.

Be pleased to accept [etc.]

  1. A note in similar terms was transmitted by the British Ambassador (No. 316), Sept. 25. (File No. 868.51 War Credits/13.)
  2. Ante, p. 565.