462.00 R 296/28: Telegram
The Chargé in France ( Whitehouse ) to the Secretary of State
[Received 10:01 p.m.31]
428. Although a semi-official communiqué was issued here this noon advising that France had already informed the Department that it accepted the formation of a committee of experts containing an American representative I deemed it advisable to give Peretti32 this afternoon the gist of Department’s cable 397 dated October 25, 11 a.m. As a reply he read to me the instructions which were sent to the French Ambassador in Great Britain yesterday. These were similar to the ones sent to the French Chargé in the United States to be conveyed to you. He made no allusion to the interview which Laboulaye had with you. Of course, I said nothing. However, he stressed the fact that they had accepted Department’s alternative suggestion for a commission of experts to work under the auspices of the Reparation Commission. He added that this was not what Great Britain wanted as they desired a broad commission of inquiry which would practically supersede the Reparation Commission. In order to show the powers of the Reparation Commission he quoted from the Treaty of Versailles. From the manner in which he spoke I have my fears that there may be some difficulty regarding the terms of reference to the commission of experts and that they may not be given the unlimited scope needed for satisfactory results to come from their labors.
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