767.68/458: Telegram

The Ambassador in Great Britain ( Harvey ) to the Secretary of State


470. In a conversation with me yesterday Austen Chamberlain3 took great pains to tell me for repetition to you how much he personally appreciated your published statement approving the attitude of the British Government with respect to the freedom of the Straits.4 He confirmed what Curzon had said to the effect that the British had been materially strengthened in their negotiations with other powers by your statement. Chamberlain’s utterance was entirely his own and not connected with Curzon’s inquiry concerning the possibility of your participation in a conference, of which he had not been informed. Chamberlain said that he wanted me to impress on the American Government that the British statesmen were all convinced that Great Britain and America, no matter how much they might differ regarding procedure or details, inevitably and irresistibly approached international problems from the same point of view and that the British statesmen, therefore, heartily welcomed the cooperation of the United States in respect to such questions by way of suggestion or otherwise. Chamberlain added that often the British did not seek consultation which they thought might be mutually advantageous because they did not desire to appear importunate or to cause suspicion that they might be attempting to entice us into a situation into which we would not want to be drawn. He most earnestly depicted their general attitude, stating that it should now be looked upon as a cardinal principle of the policy of the British Government irrespective of the party or men who might be in office. Rather more than ordinary significance should be attached to this declaration because Chamberlain holds an enviable position as a man of absolute honesty and good faith which is conceded by even his most bitter political opponents.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  1. Leader in the House of Commons in the Coalition government which resigned Oct 19, 1922.
  2. See telegram of Sept. 26 to the Ambassador in Great Britain, p. 880.