767.68119 T&M/6: Telegram

The Special Mission at Lausanne to the Secretary of State

19. Following statement made by Child this morning’s session of commission.23

1. On termination of discussion on Thrace when other subjects to which the Open Door policy might apply were ready for discussion.

“It is not and will not be the concern of the representatives of the United States to express at this conference views which have not for their bases the legitimate national interests of the United States or those humanitarian considerations which I assume are shared by every delegation present. We will, however, and I trust acceptably, state, when the occasion arises, the position of the United States. We believe that a convenient and appropriate occasion has now arisen.

It is not unknown to those who have observed the history of conferences and negotiations that few subjects may be considered by themselves. I am not referring to the specific subject under discussion, but all the various points of negotiations must, in the end, be considered as a unit, and it is often true that not one detail of a negotiation can be [considered] as isolated from the others. The representatives of the United States are unable, therefore, to hear concluded a discussion of any territorial settlement which, in its turn, may affect other settlements, without drawing the attention of the conference to certain traditional principles of the foreign policy of America. Reference to this policy was made in an aide-mémoire delivered to the Ministers of Foreign Office [Affairs] of the three inviting Powers on October 30th,24 less than one month ago, in the following words:

Insert from aide-mémoire beginning ‘As the object in view’ to ‘assure the Open Door’.

[The passage to be here inserted reads as follows:

‘As the object in view in submitting this suggestion is the elimination of any possible cause of misunderstanding, it is considered appropriate to call attention to the attitude of the United States in respect to secret treaties and agreements. It is not felt that arrangements previously made with respect to Turkish territory which provide for the establishment of zones of special commercial and economic influence, such, for example, as the Tripartite Agreement [Page 905] of 1920, are consonant with the principle of the equality of economic opportunity. It is assumed that the Allied Powers will not now desire, and do not now intend, to carry into effect previous arrangements of this nature.

The United States has no desire to take any action which might embarrass the Allied Powers in the proper effort to secure peace. It desires nothing which need conflict with the interests of other countries, if the principle of commercial opportunity for all nations is recognized at the outset. The United States has no intention of seeking for itself or its nationals a position of special privilege but it desires to protect its rights and to assure the Open Door.’]

This conference may be glad to know that the overwhelming sentiment of the people of the United States is in favor of this policy, not only as a national policy, but as one which, [were it] to be adopted by every nation on the earth, would be in contrast, perhaps, to the [search for territorial] or other special privilege on foreign soils, a powerful element in the establishment of any stable peace, a foundation for a greater equity in the relation of nation with nation, and the basis for a more progressive economic development of territories.[”]

  • Child
  • Grew
  1. First commission on territorial and military questions.
  2. See telegram no. 344, Oct. 27, to the Ambassador in France, p. 884.