767.68119 P 43/24: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Italy ( Child )


175. Your telegram of November 13, 4 p.m. Your suggestion concerning the status of our observers at Lausanne has received my careful consideration. I appreciate their force, but the situation at the Genoa Conference was different. At Lausanne American interests will be directly involved and sooner or later we will have to negotiate a treaty of amity and commerce with Turkey in order to protect them. On the other hand we have never been a party to territorial settlements in the Near East nor to any treaties terminating wars with Turkey. Should this Government take part in the peace negotiations looking to the ending of war and the making of territorial settlements in the Near East, it would be appropriate that it should become a party to the resulting treaty. The American Government has no intention of doing this and in not doing so it does not evade any proper responsibility. Along with those matters, however, there will be considered the other questions mentioned in our aide-mémoire of October 30,16 and these are so very important [Page 899] that the American Government must not neglect any opportunity to obtain full information, to clearly state its position and to give support where it has interests in common with others and to oppose measures threatening such interests.

The function of the observers was stated as exactly as possible in the aide-mémoire of October 30. The Department considers it important that you should be given an appropriate place in the conference and attend the sessions. You should state the American position if at any time it seems necessary. In view of our direct interests it would expose us to serious criticism were we to keep aloof from the sessions and very likely would put in jeopardy opportunity for complete observation and the use of appropriate influence. The understanding that you are to observe and report, and not to commit yourself without instructions, will fully safeguard your position. You are of course free to affirm the position of the American Government as set forth in its aide-mémoire.

  1. See telegram no. 344, Oct. 27, to the Ambassador in France, p. 884.