033.1140/148: Telegram

The Commission to Negotiate Peace to the Acting Secretary of State

206. For your information and for the information of Secretary of Treasury. The President on January 6th wrote the two following letters to Norman H. Davis:

Letter number 1: “Secretary Glass has recommended to me your appointment as Commissioner in connection with the Armistice discussion at Spa. He has also advised me that so far as your time is not occupied by this special mission you will be available to furnish general financial and economic advice as I may desire regarding questions which may arise at the peace conferences not directly touching our foreign loans.

I entirely agree with Secretary Glass that questions regarding our foreign loans such as the making of further loans, the conversion of demand obligations, dates of maturity, interest rate and the situation [regarding?] long-time obligations received by us in exchange and claims of one government against another for dollar reimbursements should be discussed and settled in Washington.

I shall take pleasure in following Secretary Glass’s recommendation and I request that you act as United States Commissioner in connection with the Armistice discussions at Spa and that you hold yourself available to furnish general financial and economic advice as I may desire from time to time during the Peace Conference.

I have requested the Secretary of State to take the necessary steps to issue your commission in Washington. Until this is done this letter together with the enclosed letter of even date will serve as your credentials.”

Letter number 2: “I appoint you to act as United States Finance Commissioner and as such to take part on behalf of our government in the Armistice discussion at Spa.

Your duties in connection with the Armistice discussion will be to take [up] with the Commission representing the German Treasury and the Imperial Bank questions of general financial [and] economic [Page 557] conditions in Germany with the special reference to retiring German marks and controlling the exportation of German securities. You will sit with the representatives chosen by the British, French, Belgian and German Governments to consider these matters.

In addition to the above questions you will also consider and determine what expenses of our army of occupation are to be met by Germany and to make arrangements regarding same.

This will serve as your credentials to act for the United States with respect to these matters.”

Am[erican] Mission