033.1140/180d: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Commission to Negotiate Peace

66. For President from Glass.

  • First: I have received your message of December 23,11 cable from Col. House number 82 of December 26,12 and Crosby’s resignation as Special Finance Commissioner addressed to you dated November 28 reading as follows:

    “I have the honor to place in your hands my resignation as Special United States Commissioner of Finance in Europe. This resignation [Page 548] is offered with a high appreciation of the privilege I have had of being of some service to our country during the war. It seems not improbable that the functions connected with the office I now hold may be beneficially continued for several months to come. But, inasmuch as my appointment by you was due to Secretary McAdoo’s recommendation, I think it fitting that my resignation should thus be presented in order that a change may be made more readily should you, or Secretary McAdoo’s successor desire to be represented in Europe by some one else. Renewing my expressions of appreciation, I remain, Mr. President.”

  • Second: Crosby’s work as President of the Inter-Ally Council of War Purchases and Finance for which he was sent to Europe13 has been practically completed.
  • Third: In transmitting his resignation Crosby refers to his intention of soon publishing his book dealing with League of Nations.
  • Fourth: I will appreciate advice from you as to action on Crosby’s resignation.
  • Fifth: I am greatly relieved that you feel there can be no proper basis for a discussion of our foreign loans in connection with the peace conference. Such being the case I am reluctant to send an Assistant Secretary to Paris to head a financial organization to deal with other financial questions which may arise in connection with Peace Conference. I fear that such an organization would serve to give the opportunity to foreign governments to raise in Paris the questions regarding our loans that should if possible be discussed and settled in Washington. Such questions include the making of further loans, conversion of demand obligations now held into long time obligations, elate of maturity, interest rate and special provisions of great importance of long time obligations and claims of one foreign government against another for dollar reimbursement. The only Assistant Secretaries familiar with these matters are Leffingwell and Rathbone. I cannot well spare Leffingwell at this time when domestic financial problems are so pressing, nor Rathbone if the questions referred to regarding foreign loans are to be discussed and settled here.
  • Sixth: Davis went to Europe to enable Hoover to obtain through him with least possible delay Treasury’s view on such financial problems as Hoover might wish to submit. I should be glad to have him appointed Commissioner in connection with the armistice discussions at Spa as recommended by House.
  • Seventh: Davis if designated as suggested, so far as his time not occupied by his special mission, or Crosby if you desire him to remain in Europe, could furnish general financial and economic advice regarding questions which may arise not directly touching our [Page 549] foreign loans, retaining from the present Treasury organization in Europe such other men as might be useful during Peace Conference.
  • Eighth: With your approval I would instruct a financial organization such as suggested in paragraph Seventh of this cable not to discuss the matters concerning our foreign loans. If contrary to present expectations matters touching our foreign loans should be drawn into the discussions of the Peace Conference, thus necessitating their settlement outside of Washington, I can then send Leffingwell or Rathbone to Paris, or if they are not available some other person fully conversant with my views on these subjects.