550.E1 Russia/4: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Italy ( Child )

11. Your 53, May 15th, 1 a.m. and 54, May 15th, 2 a.m. You may deliver to Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs the following reply to the invitation contained in your 54, May 15th, 2 a.m.

[Page 808]

“This Government has carefully considered the invitation extended to it by the President of the Genoa Conference, under the conditions set forth in the agreement of the inviting Powers, to join the proposed commission to meet at The Hague on June 15th. This Government is most desirous to aid in every practicable way the consideration of the economic exigencies in Russia and wishes again to express the deep friendship felt by the people of the United States for the people of Russia and their keen interest in all proceedings looking to the recovery of their economic life and the return of the prosperity to which their capacities and resources entitle them. The American people have given the most tangible evidence of their unselfish interest in the economic recuperation of Russia, and this Government would be most reluctant to abstain from any opportunity of helpfulness.

This Government, however, is unable to conclude that it can helpfully participate in the meeting at The Hague as this would appear to be a continuance under a different nomenclature of the Genoa Conference and destined to encounter the same difficulties if the attitude disclosed in the Russian memorandum of May 11th30 remains unchanged.

The inescapable and ultimate question would appear to be the restoration of productivity in Russia, the essential conditions of which are still to be secured and must in the nature of things be provided within Russia herself.

While this Government has believed that these conditions are reasonably clear, it has always been ready to join with the governments extending the present invitation in arranging for an inquiry by experts into the economic situation in Russia and the necessary remedies. Such an inquiry would appropriately deal with the economic prerequisites of that restoration of production in Russia without which there would appear to be lacking any sound basis for credits. It should be added that this Government is most willing to give serious attention to any proposals issuing from the Genoa Conference or any later conference, but it regards the present suggestions, in apparent response to the Russian Memorandum of May 11th, as lacking, in view of the terms of that Memorandum, in the definiteness which would make possible the concurrence of this Government in the proposed plan.”

In view of the fact that American press carries substance of invitation and report of approval today by political sub-commission, the summary of the invitation contained in your 54, May 15th, 2 a.m. and of above reply have been made public.

  1. Ante, p. 792.