462.00 R 296/27½

Memorandum by the Secretary of State of a Conversation with the French Chargé (Laboulaye), October 26, 1923

Mr. de Laboulaye said that he had been directed by his Government to inform the Secretary of the reply which the French Government had made to the invitation of the British Government with respect to reparations. It was to the effect that the French Government desired the cooperation of the American Government and had been concerned with the appropriate procedure. The suggestion by the Secretary that American citizens might take part in such a procedure was made visible by the Secretary’s recent statement. The French Government had always desired to keep within the limits of the Treaty of Versailles, but that under that Treaty, paragraph 7, Annex II, Part VIII, the Reparation Commission could designate a committee of experts to give their advice and they could ask the cooperation of American experts. The German Government had asked the Reparation Commission to make an inquiry under Article 234 of the Treaty of Versailles and the Reparation Commission was now considering the German proposals. They had also had before them a Belgian plan. It was possible for the Reparation Commission in considering the German request to ask for the advice of experts.

Mr. de Laboulaye in stating the above read from a memorandum but did not leave a memorandum with the Secretary. The Secretary said he had made his position clear in the aide-mémoire which had been delivered to the British Embassy and which had been published in the press.30

  1. Aide-mémoire of Oct. 15, p. 70.