511.4 A 2/25: Telegram

The Minister in Switzerland (Grew) to the Secretary of State

12. Reference Legation’s 3, January 7, 2 p.m.77 I am informally advised by League of Nations that the Preparatory Committee on Opium will be summoned within the next few days to meet on March 5th, and that it is regarded as essential to have the American delegation in Geneva at that time especially as the foundations laid by the Preparatory Committee will greatly influence the work of the later conference.

I am asked to inform the Department that the Advisory Committee has selected by ballot the representatives of France, Great Britain, and the Netherlands as members of the Preparatory Committee. In addition the two European assessors, Sir John Jordan and Monsieur Brenier have accepted the invitation to serve. There thus remains for the full constitution of the Committee only that [Page 93] representative to be nominated by the United States. The opinion in Geneva seems to be that the success of this Preliminary Committee lies largely in the choice of the American delegate and that if the program of the later conference and the tentative draft agreement is to be thoroughly comprehensive it is highly desirable that the Preparatory Committee as at present constituted be aided by the very best technical experts available in the United States. While no official suggestion was made it was clear in conversation that it was felt that the best could be secured, particularly from the point of view represented by the United States, if the first American delegate were a man thoroughly familiar with the opium situation and highly trained in negotiation aided by an internal enforcement officer from the Federal Narcotic Board and a customs officer who has had experience pertaining to customs, steamers, bonded warehouses, et cetera.

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