462.00 R 29/2804½

Memorandum by the Secretary of State of a Conversation with the German Ambassador (Wiedfeldt), June 7, 1923

The Ambassador called and delivered a note enclosing a memorandum (with English translation of both note and memorandum),23 dealing with the reparation question. The Ambassador said that the memorandum was intended to be supplementary to the German note of May second; that the endeavor was to avoid anything which would make it more difficult to continue the interchange of views with the Allies. The Secretary read the memorandum and said that he noted the statement in paragraph 4, as follows:

“In such a large and complicated question decisive progress cannot be made by written expositions but only by oral intercourse at a conference. Germany’s capacity to pay depends on the mode of solution of the entire problem. The method of payment can only be agreed upon in direct conversation with those entitled to receive payment. The establishment of guarantees and their details makes the cooperation of those necessary for whom the guarantees are to be established. For solution of these questions oral discussions are necessary.”

The Secretary said that he had been convinced that the most desirable course was for direct conversations to take place so that the difficulties that existed in the way of settlement should be removed; that it was almost impossible to remove these by exchanging written communications. The Ambassador said that it was the intention to have direct communication with France and Belgium and with England.

  1. Supra.