The Ambassador in Great Britain (Davis) to the Secretary of State

No. 2686

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my telegram No. 627 of April 16th,65 transmitting an invitation from the Council of the League of Nations to the United States Government to be represented or associated in the coming International Conference to study financial conditions. The full text of the invitation is transmitted herewith.66

I have [etc.]

John W. Davis
[Enclosure 1]

The Council of the League of Nations to the Government of the United States

The Council of the League of Nations begs to inform the American Government of the following resolution adopted during the meetings of the Council held in London, February llth–13th, 1920.

[Page 92]
  • Article I.—The League of Nations shall convene an International Conference with a view to studying the financial crisis and to look for the means of remedying it and of mitigating the dangerous consequences arising from it.
  • Article II.—A Commission composed of Members of the Council, nominated by the President, is instructed to summon the States chiefly concerned to this Conference, and to convene it at the earliest possible date.

This Conference will be held at Brussels about the end of May, 1920.

The Council invites the following countries to send delegates to this Conference:—67

  • Argentine Republic,
  • Australia,
  • Belgium,
  • Brazil,
  • Canada,
  • Chile,
  • Czecho-Slovakia,
  • Denmark,
  • France,
  • Greece,
  • Holland,
  • India,
  • Italy,
  • Japan,
  • New Zealand,
  • Norway,
  • Poland,
  • Portugal,
  • Roumania,
  • Serb-Croat-Slovene State,
  • South Africa,
  • Spain,
  • Sweden,
  • Switzerland,
  • United Kingdom.

Other States, Members of the League, will be invited to send to the Council, as soon as possible, any proposals which they would like to have considered by the Conference.

The Council of the League is informing the United States Government of the proposed Conference, and is inviting them to send representatives to the Conference or to be associated with the work of the Conference.

The Council may invite States not included in the above list to communicate to the Conference full information regarding their financial and economic situation, and, if necessary, it will decide under what conditions these States may be heard.

The Council therefore has the honour to invite the American Government to send to the Conference not more than three delegates, conversant with public finance and banking as well as with general economic questions. The Council requests that the names of these delegates may be notified to the Secretary-General of the League of Nations.

[Page 93]
[Enclosure 2]

The Council of the League of Nations to the Government of the United States

The Secretary-General of the League of Nations is instructed by the Council of the League of Nations to communicate to the United States Government the text of an invitation to an International Financial Conference, which the Council is addressing to the States, Members of the League of Nations.

The world is at this moment in a condition of economic and financial disorder, with results which are, at present, so serious and may in the future become so dangerous, that the League of Nations cannot ignore them without failing in its most essential duties.

In taking the initiative of convening a Financial Conference to meet at Brussels within the next few weeks, the Council of the League fully realises the difficulty of the problem under consideration, and it does not ask the Conference for a complete solution. It desires that the present situation should be discussed from an international point of view; and the Delegates meeting at Brussels will be invited to conduct the debate on a higher plane than the mere consideration of the special problems and interests of each State.

The purpose of the Conference is not to recast the economic system of the world, but to obtain suggestions for its improvement by the impartial examination of the present situation and the formulation of practical conclusions by the best qualified experts in each country.

Recognising the economic and financial importance of the United States, the Council of the League of Nations expresses the earnest hope that the United States Government will wish to avail itself of the opportunity of the United States being represented at the Conference, or of being associated with its work.

  1. Not printed.
  2. The two enclosures printed infra were transmitted by the Secretary General of the League of Nations to the American Ambassador in Great Britain in a covering letter dated Apr. 15 (not printed).
  3. Thirty-nine countries were eventually included in the Conference.