The Acting Secretary of State to the Commission to Negotiate Peace
Washington , January 9, 1919—7 p.m.
163. For House from Glass.
- First: Upon receipt of message from you number 82 of December 26, 6 p.m. and in accordance with suggestion therein contained I cabled President recommending appointment of Norman H. Davis as Commissioner in connection with armistice discussions at Spa. Davis has also been appointed one of American representatives on Special Board created to deal with relief problems. These duties will no doubt occupy a large part of Davis’ time.
- Second: Upon receipt of message from our Peace Mission Number 137 of January 3, 1919, recommending that Albert Strauss be sent to Europe as financial adviser I cabled President fully regarding Treasury representation in Europe and asking his approval of a Treasury Commission composed of Strauss as Chairman and Davis, Lamont and Crosby if the President does not accept Crosby’s resignation. Suggest you obtain copy of that cable.22
- Third: I have now received cable 186 January 7, 4 p.m. from Peace Mission. I will designate Treasury representative to sit in Council upon hearing from President regarding suggestions made to him in my cable referred to in paragraph second.
- Fourth: I am in hearty sympathy with the formation of the Council and believe it will enable the best results to be obtained. If President approves my recommendations Strauss would naturally be the Treasury representative on the Council.
- Fifth: Lamont’s general standing as an international banker will as pointed out in my cable to the President tend to strengthen the confidence of our country in the ability of the Treasury Commission to meet the financial problems which are referred to it. Crosby has been in close touch with the course of events in Europe for the past sixteen months and if he remains will be valuable to consult and advise with the other members of the Treasury Commission.
- Sixth: The financial phases of the questions before the Conference are in my judgment likely to be numerous and wide in range rather than few and specific Finance will be a secondary phase of almost every question. It is for this reason that I desire a Commission the members of which can individually devote themselves to specific problems, just as Davis is already doing, and the combined views of the members of the Commission on important questions involving finance should be of great value to our Peace Mission. I hope you will see your way to favor the appointment of the Treasury Commission which I have recommended to the President.