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Paris Peace Conf. 855.51/3

The Special Commissioner of Finance in Europe ( Crosby ) to the Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Secretary: I enclose herewith a copy of a portion of a cablegram sent by me to the Secretary of the Treasury, referring to the Belgian Army.

I shall be glad to transmit to Secretary Glass any suggestions that may be made to me, unless they reach him independently, in which latter case I should be glad to be advised of them.

Cordially yours,

Oscar T. Crosby
[Enclosure]

Extract From a Telegram From the Special Commissioner of Finance in Europe ( Crosby ) to the Secretary of the Treasury ( Glass )

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  • Thirteenth. Belgian agent here not yet ready to submit new estimates for army, but states that his Government expects to increase its army by approximately 100,000 men. This will result from demobilization of approximately 100,000 who have served at the front, but taking on approximately 200,000 young men of military age who have not served. There are domestic reasons for this procedure, but it seems [Page 565]to me impossible to suppose that such an increase of military strength is required for the prosecution of the war against Germany. British Treasury disturbed by similar considerations, but will probably pass Belgian requisition for increased number of uniforms, supplying same from old British stocks otherwise of small value.
  • Fourteenth. The independent determination by European governments of demobilization and generally of their military organizations must present questions of great difficulty in so far as support of these organizations by United States funds is concerned. In conformity with views expressed in my No. 920,24a I will report to our political representatives in Paris, as I now report to you, proposed increase in Belgian army strength. My present personal recommendation would be against support of increased numbers, but I hesitate to express a final opinion on this subject, since it is connected with political considerations not in my hands.
  1. Telegram No. 6614, Jan. 3, 1919, 6 p.m., from the Chargé in France, p. 550.