763.72119/5905: Telegram

The Commission to Negotiate Peace to the Secretary of State

3416. Personal for the Secretary of State from Polk and Dulles:

Many of the most important problems with which Mission is now dealing relate to existing [execution of] treaty with Germany. As previously reported, an Interim Reparation Committee has been formed which through acute economic situation in Europe has been led already to take up economic problems of great importance to Europe and also, though less directly, to the United States. The coal negotiations of this Commission have been forwarded [by] Mission’s 3298, July 24, 6 p.m., and 3320, July 26, 7 p.m.3 The Allied Maritime Transport Executive in London has now been authorized by Reparation Commission to study the allocation of ceded German ships. German dyestuff experts will be here next week. Broad reconstruction plans are under consideration.

The Committee on Execution of the Treaty with Germany has made a number of reports which the Supreme Council has approved and which emphasize the necessity of immediate action in selecting, provisionally, the members of the commissions so that they [Page 7] can enter promptly and intelligently upon their functions in such disturbed districts as Silesia, Schleswig, Danzig, et cetera.

The committee, dealing with the Rhineland occupation convention, is studying ordinances necessary to be promulgated immediately upon the coming into force of the treaty.

The American member[s] of these and similar Peace Conference committees will be placed in a very embarrassing position unless the United States will be prepared to take part, at least informally, on the permanent commissions upon the coming into force of the treaty; and we consider that unless there is a probability that the American selections for these various commissions can be made promptly, it might even be better for the United States to withdraw at the present time from active participation in all matters relating to the execution of the treaty. Our national prestige and interests will, we consider, be less prejudiced by this course and, from a practical standpoint, the personnel of the Mission is now so depleted, particularly in respect of technical experts, that by attempting to participate in current matters of the character above described we risk committing the United States, at least morally, to courses of action, the full significance of which it is impossible for us adequately to appraise.

Dulles, the American member on the temporary reparation commission, the committee on execution of the treaty and the Rhine-land committee, adds that for personal reasons it will be absolutely impossible for him to remain more than a few weeks longer and he would probably feel justified in doing this if it were probable that, by the end of that time, definite selections for the various commissions would be here so that his serving in the interval would afford an easy transition.

In view of this situation we should appreciate your personal advice as to the course which we should follow. Polk. Dulles.

American Mission
  1. Neither printed.