763.72119/6723: Telegram

The Commission to Negotiate Peace to the Secretary of State

4197. Meeting Supreme Economic Council is announced to be held Brussels September 18th. Hoover was of opinion before his departure that organization committee of Reparations Commission for the present, and finally Reparations Commission, together with duly constituted sub-commissions acting under these, completely covers field of work originally designed for Supreme Economic Council. Hoover and Dulles announced these views upon their withdrawal and at present we have no representative on Supreme Economic Council. British propose that Supreme Economic Council be reorganized into permanent international economic council with headquarters in London. French lukewarm on British proposal without our participation; Italian and Belgian positions not clear.

Hoover’s opinion understood to be: (1) Continued representation on Supreme Economic Council unnecessary as work for which originally designed has now passed to Reparations Commission; (2) that continued representation on Supreme Economic Council would be construed as a tacit consent to the proposed reorganization of this Council into an after war institution which of necessity would mainly occupy itself as a sort of American European board of directors advising how and where we should place our credits and raw materials, and the assumption of a position which is disadvantageous to us and for which there is no reason or obligation for us to accept.

We suggest one of two lines of action:

That we officially inform the various Governments represented on Supreme Economic Council that in our opinion the functions originally laid down for this Council, and which were of a very useful and necessary character during the early period of the armistice, have properly passed in their entirety to the organization committee [Page 9] of the Reparations Commission and finally to the Reparations Commission when established, and that on this account we can see no necessity for the further continuance of our representation on Supreme Economic Council and have therefore decided to withdraw from it.
In view of it having been generally accepted that Hoover and Dulles’ announcement upon their withdrawal from the Supreme Economic Council, was expressive of the views and policy of our Government, it might be a more conservative line of action to maintain this position by simply refraining from appointing either delegates or secretaries to this Council to fill the existing vacancy. This solution obviates the necessity of any immediate announcement which at this particular time might be misinterpreted, and has additional advantage of postponing to a later date any formal announcement of policy we might consider advisable to make. Hoover and Dulles both in America and can be consulted. Instructions are requested at the earliest moment possible.

Refer also to last paragraph of American Mission’s 3492, August 20 [4], 10 p.m.,4 recommendations of which appear in line with those here suggested. Polk.

American Mission
  1. Not printed.