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033.1140/178: Telegram

The Commission to Negotiate Peace to the Acting Secretary of State

252. For the Secretary of the Treasury from the President.

1.
With regard to the first 4 paragraphs of your number 66, January 2nd, 4 p.m. I suggest that Crosby’s resignation as Special Finance Commissioner be accepted and that he be told that I trust his plans will make it possible for him to hold himself available for consultation on financial matters as the occasion may arise during the Peace Conference.
2.
As you know I am in entire agreement with you concerning the matters mentioned in paragraph number 5 of your telegram number 66 of January 2nd, 4 p.m.
3.
The Acting Secretary of State has been furnished by cable with the text of letters which I have written Mr. Norman Davis pursuant to the suggestions made in paragraph numbers 6 and 7 of your cable number 66 of January 2nd, 4 p.m.
4.
I think it hardly necessary at the present time to create a United States Treasury Commissioner in Europe as suggested in your number 112, January 6th, 6 p.m. Davis has entered upon his work in a manner entirely satisfactory to me and the other members of the Commission and as the official Treasury representative can, I think, give such advice on financial question as we may require. He will need assistants particularly in connection with armistice discussions and in handling Treasury problems and I am satisfied to adopt your suggestion respecting Lamont to help in this work, that the services of Goodhue, Loree and Harris as assistants should be retained if possible.
5.
I concur in the suggestion that Strauss should come to Europe to advise with the Commission on general question of international finance as distinguished from Treasury matters. I believe, however, that his services in conjunction with his work on the Federal Reserve Board in Washington (on which there are only four members at the present time) would not permit him to remain here any length of time. It seems to me that Strauss’s wide knowledge of international finance makes it desirable that he should return to the United States at the earliest practical moment in order that the Federal Reserve Board may avail itself in full of his services. Secretary Lansing and Colonel House share views.
6.
I entirely concur with you that so far as the Peace Commission or Mr. Hoover or others in Europe are in need of financial advice they should obtain it from persons acting under your general direction and responsible to you.
Am[erican] Mission