462.00 R 29/488: Telegram

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

104. Your 77, February 10th, 5 p.m. and 80, February 11th, 1 p.m.

For Davis from Boyden:

Your B–197 and subsequent telegram.

Your last draft for statement to Commission implies that representation would have been continued if Paris arrangement about indemnity had not been made. Presume you do not mean to give such impression but language is unfortunate in this respect.
You can not utilize Paris indemnity decisions as basis for withdrawal without making wrong impression both upon Germany and upon Allies. Germany will proclaim it as complete condemnation Allied policy. Allies will themselves share this feeling. Influenced by the French, opponents of any reasonable policy will take on renewed life and vigor. This result not likely to be avoided by using different language. It is inherent so I urge strongly giving up this thought altogether.
It should also be added that the argument is far fetched. Your only connection between Reparation Commission and Paris decisions is fact that Commission is to execute decisions. This in itself is no change in principle and the decisions will in fact decrease rather than add to Commission’s responsibilities.
It seems safest to rely on growing anomaly of imposing the cause of non-ratification and to negative at once such affirmative deductions as I mention. I suggest following language of which I am not proud, its virtues being chiefly negative.

“I am instructed by my Government to announce my retirement as its unofficial representative upon the Reparation Commission. All representation upon this Reparation Commission was in the beginning unofficial in anticipation of the ratifications of the treaty. The other powers have ratified and their representation long ago became official. The United States has not ratified and as time has passed its unofficial representation on the Commission had gradually become anomalous. After long hesitation my Government has decided that even this unofficial representation ought not to be continued. It is important that this step should not lead to unfriendly interferences [inferences?] whether in relation to matters before the Commission or to matters outside the [Page 8] Commission. For this reason my Government desires me to state positively that the step has no significance other than the simple one which I have mentioned. Follow with [garbled groups].”

I think of nothing necessary to do before withdrawal, of course withdrawal will leave State Department in the air but few days delay would do no good.
As regards publication I propose to issue statement to the press based on notification to the Commission after notification has been made. Upon receiving your reply will immediately advise you of day on which formal statement to Commission will be made. Would appreciate your withholding announcement to press until that date so that I might have time to warn my colleagues. Boyden.

Concur fully with Boyden’s views regarding probable effect of notification contained in your number 80, February 11th, 1 p.m., on Germans and Allies and hope that Department will approve his suggestions.