Colonel E. M. House to the Secretary of State
[Received 9:30 p.m.]
213. For the President. Your number 90, November 29, 3 p.m., which refers to my number 188. After my number 188 had been despatched, it was found that mistake had been made in respect to proposed disposition of enemy passenger ships. Accordingly, Hoover and I, after learning of Hurley’s cable to you, had conference with Hurley and explained that feature of food relief plan dividing passenger tonnage with Great Britain was error. This feature has now been eliminated from plan. We feel as he does that enemy passenger tonnage should be available for return of American troops. Hurley asks me to say to you that “Assuming now that you desire early action without awaiting for announcement of League of Nations program he gives his approval to plan, the error having been corrected.” Pursuant to the authorization contained in your number 90, I shall propose the plan, but instead of directing this communication to the Supreme War Council, I shall embody it in a formal communication to Mr. Balfour, Monsieur Pichon and Baron Sonnino requesting them to bring it to the attention of their respective Governments. I believe that in this way rather than by presentation to the Prime Ministers collectively at their meeting in London, favorable action can be secured.