Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State (Fletcher)39

You will recall my having told you that the Spanish Ambassador, in the course of a conversation with me several weeks ago, stated that he had received a telegram from his Government instructing him, in view of the newspaper reports with regard to the intention of President Harding to approach various governments on the subject of disarmament, to inquire of the State Department what the status of those negotiations were, intimating that Spain would like to be consulted or invited if a conference were held.

At the time, I told him that the matter was not in such definite shape that I could discuss it, but that I had no doubt his government would be informed in due season of any moves which might be made.

The Secretary of the Spanish Embassy yesterday reminded me of this conversation, and stated that on the strength of it the Spanish Embassy had informed the Spanish Government that Spain would be invited to the conference if it eventuated. I told him that while I had not meant to convey any such impression, he might state to his Government that the President, after consideration of all the circumstances, had concluded to limit his invitation to the four principal allied powers, and that otherwise, of course, Spain would have been one of the powers to have been approached.

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  1. Evidently prepared for the Secretary of State.