462.00 R 29/2815½

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

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Occupation of the Ruhr. Reparations.—The Ambassador referred to the matter casually in saying that he understood that some progress [Page 65] was being made. The Secretary informed the Ambassador that he had just received from the German Ambassador a copy of the German memorandum which had been delivered to the Allies. The Secretary referred to the suggestion of guarantees which were contained in this memorandum and especially to the significant statement in the memorandum, as follows: “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 Secretary said that this was a clear indication that the Germans were desirous to enter into direct negotiations with the French and Belgians and they had gone so far in this memorandum that it did not seem that such negotiations would be destitute of results. The Secretary said that some hope might be entertained and he trusted that there would be direct negotiations to bring about a proper settlement. The Ambassador said he had no word from his Government upon the matter but it was evident from the tenor of the German memorandum that the Germans were “thawing.” While the Ambassador did not commit himself, he did not seem inclined to oppose the suggestion that the time was ripe for direct oral negotiations.