462.00 R 29/2259½

Memorandum by the Secretary of State of a Conversation with the French Ambassador (Jusserand), December 18, 1922


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The Secretary said that since the last interview with the French Ambassador he had had an interview with the German Ambassador. The latter had said that his Government was willing to enter into an agreement with Great Britain, France and Italy to the effect that none of these Powers should engage in war against any of the others for a generation unless the war was authorized by a popular vote. The Secretary had asked the German Ambassador whether this was a proposal of an independent unconditional agreement. The German Ambassador had said that it was. The Secretary had asked what was meant by a “generation.” The German Ambassador had said “say about thirty years.” The German Ambassador had informed the Secretary that his Government would like to have the Secretary bring it to the attention of the other Powers mentioned. The Secretary said that he had not said anything to the representatives of the other Powers as he desired to find out in the first instance whether this would appeal to the French Government; it was a suggestion made by the German Government to relieve in some practicable way the apprehension of France.

The French Ambassador said it was very important. He made note of the suggestion and said he would convey the information to his Government. The Ambassador said that nothing permanent could be hoped for until a different sort of instruction was given in [Page 205] the German schools; that not [now?] this instruction inculcated the desire for revenge upon France. The Secretary said that such an agreement as that proposed would have a powerful influence on the sentiment of the people and would encourage the people in the maintenance of peace and the desire for peace. The Ambassador agreed that the suggestion should have serious consideration.