The Secretary of State to the French Ambassador (Jusserand)

Excellency: I have the honor to refer to the note addressed to me on September 26, 1923, by M. de Labouiaye and to inform Your Excellency that careful consideration has been given to the request contained therein for an expression of the views of the Government of the United States respecting the desirability of establishing a coordinating agency, to deal with questions arising out of the relief credits advanced by the United States and other governments to certain European countries. I desire also to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of November 30, 1923, bearing on the same subject.98

While this Government was happy to cooperate with the other interested governments with a view to providing the necessary credits for the purchase of the relief supplies which were so urgently needed in order to facilitate the prompt and practical solution of [Page 129] the pressing relief problems arising in Europe after the conclusion of the war, it has never been the opinion of the Government of the United States that it would be necessary to establish any international agency for the settlement of questions arising out of its advances to foreign governments for the purpose of relief or for other purposes, as this Government has believed and still believes that any questions that may arise in this regard are susceptible of adjustment through existing channels. As the French Government has already been informed, the World War Foreign Debt Commission was created by act of the Congress to negotiate with respect to the debts owed to the United States Government by foreign Governments,99 and under existing legislation that Commission could not undertake to execute its authority through any international agency.

I regret, therefore, to have to inform Your Excellency that the Government of the United States finds itself unable to acquiesce in the suggestion that an international agency be created to deal with questions arising out of these relief credits and that the United States participate in such an agency.

Accept [etc.]

Charles E. Hughes