763.72119/11135a: Telegram

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


274. You have been designated as the President’s representative to participate in Supreme Council’s deliberations. The general principles as to participation of the United States were set forth in paragraph two of this Government’s communication to Mr. Lloyd George accepting invitation of the Allies. These should be your guide. Whenever it is difficult to separate matters of “distinctly European concern” from matters of “world-wide importance” and therefore of great interest to the United States, your doubt should be solved by nonparticipation. The principles set forth in recent notes addressed to Allied Governments having a special relation to the [Page 15] island of Yap9 should in general be maintained in regard to rights and property accruing to Allied and Associated Powers as a result of the war. It is to be understood that we advance these principles not to secure territory or disturb arrangements which do not prejudice the interests of the United States, but to guarantee equality of participation whenever it may happen that we have interests to conserve. This Government is interested in economic questions growing out of the war. These may relate either to our trade directly or to economic adjustments underlying the recuperation of Europe and therefore affect the prosperity of the United States. The influence of this Government should be exerted through you (1) toward effecting economic settlements which will as far as possible promote restoration of normal activities and will encourage the utmost national endeavor without providing escape from just obligations; (2) toward effective recognition of open-door policy of equal commercial opportunity. Conversely, the United States maintains its traditional policy in political matters of purely European concern, and must not become involved.

While participating in Supreme Council’s deliberations and exerting your influence within the above-defined limits, you are not to commit the Government of the United States to any action on its part. Inform the Department closely on all questions discussed in Supreme Council and request instructions upon particular points.

After your letter of credence is presented, the President of the Allied Conference should be informed that you are ready to participate in Supreme Council’s deliberations as the President’s representative.

If Germany agrees to reparation demands, we do not think there will be frequent occasion for meetings of Supreme Council.

  1. See telegram no. 107, Feb. 21, 1921, to the Ambassador in France, p. 89; also telegram no. 61, Apr. 2, 1921, to the Chargé in Japan, vol. ii, p. 279.