500.A15/76: Telegram

The Consul at Geneva ( Tuck ) to the Secretary of State

In conversation with Drummond this afternoon at request of Legation at Berne I indicated to him informally the substance of paragraphs 2 and 3 of the Department’s number 8 of January 20, 4 p.m. to the Legation with regard to the composition of the various delegations. He stated that the majority would not include more than one or two principal delegates at the most, citing England, France and Czechoslovakia as examples.

In any case he spoke very frankly regarding the possibility of postponement of the Preparatory Commission, stating that both France and Italy favored postponement for the following reasons:

If Preparatory Commission meets on February 15th France fears that Germany may adopt attitude that she is already disarmed and expects other countries to do as much. Germany would find it mom difficult to take this line when once in the League.
The negotiations now proceeding between Berne and Moscow will find, it is hoped, a solution to prevent deadlock. Russia has not yet answered invitation definitely.

If Preparatory Commission postponed, it will probably meet first week in May. Briand51 apparently does not wish to make definite request for postponement until he has had an opportunity to interview Chamberlain.52 England at present against postponement but willing to discuss matter. Drummond considers strong chance exists [Page 48] for postponement; from purely League point of view hopes this will occur as he would like to see both Germany as a League member and Russia taking part.

  1. Aristide Briand, French Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  2. Sir Austen Chamberlain, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.