551.A1/45: Telegram

The Ambassador in Belgium (Whitlock) to the Secretary of State

128. For Davis from Boyden. B–281.

Kept quiet until Tuesday when seemed rather desirable say something in connection with presentation of figures particularly as President Ador urged this. Emphasized that except figures presented had no governmental authority: merely expressed personal opinion. For governmental policy regarding credits referred convention to Glass January letter73 which is printed in one of documents before convention: also mentioned confirmation of Glass statement by Houston. In view of this cutting off of Government credit, American [credit to] Europe would be confined to charity and private business credits. Expressed personal opinion American private charity would still be interested in Europe but that business relations depended on whether Europe could convince American business that Europe was good business risk. Emphasized fact that our people not accustomed to send money abroad and required education and that obstacles in the way were first, the war itself which had shaken confidence in Europe and second, the lack of economic union and harmony, and [that the] political hostility which was manifest even now seemed to constitute great deterrent to American business. Urged some endeavor at economic cooperation and effort towards general harmony, congratulating League on taking one needed step by inviting representatives of vanquished countries to Conference.
Sending above merely because some indication a few reporters have twisted some statements. I note one man who makes me say that America was eager to help Europe provided guarantees were furnished. Another reporter seems to have the idea that I recommended the immediate formation of a United States of Europe. These two statements due either to misunderstanding or unbridled imagination. Boyden.
  1. In a letter of Jan. 28, Carter Glass, then Secretary of the Treasury, stated to the President of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce that the Treasury Department was opposed to participating officially in an international financial conference.