700.0011 R 34/10

Memorandum by the Secretary of State of a Conversation with the French Ambassador (Jusserand), January 5, 1923

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The Secretary said that he had been informed at the Department press conference this morning, by one of the correspondents, that M. Poincaré in answer to an inquiry had categorically denied that he had received any suggestion from the American Government along the line of the Secretary’s statement in his New Haven speech.14 The Secretary said he was very much surprised at this and could not credit such a report; that of course he had not sent a formal note on the subject, as he desired to deal with the matter in a manner most welcome to the French Government, but that he had presented the matter and it had been discussed and he had received through the Ambassador M. Poincaré’s replies to his suggestion.15 The Secretary said he hoped that the statements made at Paris would not compel him to state here exactly what had taken place. The Ambassador said he could not understand such reports; that of course it had been talked over with the Secretary and the Ambassador referred to the circumstances, to the telegrams he had brought in, and to M. Poincaré’s comments. He said that perhaps M. Poincaré had said that he had not officially received a suggestion. The Secretary said he did not care to enter into any discussion of mere matter of form, but the French Government certainly had the suggestion before it, and the Secretary could not be put in a position before the American people of contenting himself with making a speech at New Haven and supposing that that was a way to address the French Government; that he had taken the matter up with the Ambassador and if it were questioned he would have to make this clear.

The Ambassador asked whether the Secretary thought it necessary that there should be a correction in Paris and said he could not [Page 47] credit the report. The Secretary said he would not ask for any correction but possibly it would be well, if the Ambassador were willing, to state the situation to the French Government, so that there would not be statements coming out of Paris which would give a wrong impression here. The Ambassador indicated that he would do this.

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  1. See telegram, Dec. 29, 1922, to the Ambassador in France, ibid., p. 199.
  2. See memoranda of conversations held Dec. 14 and Dec. 21, 1922, ibid., pp. 187 and 195.