500.A4/17: Telegram

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

25. Mr. Jaspar, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, sent for me this afternoon and I found him deeply concerned because Belgium had not been invited to the conference called by the President. In a lengthy conversation he said that while pretending to no rights in the Pacific the question of terrestrial disarmament is a vital one for Belgium; after having been ignored at the Peace Conference Belgium would not like to have it said that through America she had lost the prestige gained after her admission to the Supreme Council. He felt that Belgium could exercise influence on her Allies especially in the matter of disarmament as she had done at Paris and London where by opposing the occupation of the Ruhr she had preserved the peace of Europe.

Mr. Jaspar asked me to present for your consideration these and other points which I shall elaborate in a despatch.36 For my part I can only add that the amour propre of the Belgians seems to be considerably engaged in this matter and that it will be felt as a slight if the country is not asked to assist at the conference.

Mr. Jaspar has asked the British and French Governments to intervene with you in Belgium’s behalf. He does not think England will do so but says France will. There is no doubt that Belgium exercised considerable influence at Paris.

  1. Despatch not printed.