763.72119/8332: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Wallace) to the Secretary of State


1837. The Council of the Heads of Delegations met Wednesday morning, December 17th, at the Quai d’Orsay, M. Cambon in the chair.

1. Mr. Loucheur reported that the Committee on Organization of the Reparations Commission had met the day before in the afternoon to consider the larger questions of Austrian relief. According to the information received that morning the negotiations with the Dutch group for the 30,000,000 florins would probably be successful. Chancellor Renner had submitted a memorandum relative to the monthly needs of Austria. Austria required per month 50,000 tons of wheat, say $5,500,000, 1600 tons of meat say $1,000,000, 3400 tons of fats say $2,700,000, 300,000 cases of condensed milk say $200,000 or a total of $9,500,000 per month. At the minimum therefore to carry Austria over till the next harvest she would require $70,000,000. Austria asked for [$]100.000,000. Of course the question of making so large a loan to Austria was outside of the competence of the Reparations [Page 245] Committee. It was a matter of the respective governments. The Committee, however, if the principle of the loan were approved would suggest that certain precautions be taken. The Austrian Government should undertake certain financial laws giving the necessary guarantees; the Committee therefore asked the Council to decide the question of principle.

Mr. Cambon asked Mr. Wallace for the views of the United States. Mr. Wallace stated that he would refer the matter to his Government immediately. He also repeated for Mr. Cambon’s benefit the statement he had made at the last meeting regarding his powers. Sir Eyre Crowe pointed out that the matter had already come before the Council and that it had been decided that it concerned the governments exclusively. The British Government was ready to take its part but only on the condition that America would likewise assume its share of the cost. His Government had made several efforts in Washington, had telegraphed often but was still awaiting a favorable answer.

Mr. de Martino agreed that there [were] both humanitarian and political reasons for aiding Austria. His Government had not yet come to a decision and would naturally desire to await the result of the negotiations between London and Washington.

Mr. Matsui stated that he had referred the matter to his Government but had [not] yet received an answer. He hoped that it would be able to participate in the common task. It was agreed to adjourn the discussion until the view of the various governments had been received.

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