President Harding to the Secretary of State
My Dear Mr. Secretary: I have yours of April 26th,44 enclosing the paraphrase of the confidential message of Ambassador Houghton,45 relating to the retention of an American military force on the Rhine. My own impression is that we ought to make suitable compliance with the manifest general wish for the retention of a military force there. I suggest that you take up with the Secretary of War the question of what sized force to continue there. My own judgment is that we might reasonably reduce our numbers to approximately one thousand men. Perhaps it would be well to have the Secretary of War get an expression from General Allen on this question. I am sending a note to the Secretary advising him that we shall want to retain a force of at least one thousand there so that the withdrawals will not be completed in advance of our definite decision.
Very truly yours,