500.A15/128a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister, in Switzerland ( Gibson )


22. An Associated Press report dated February 3 from Geneva states that the American delegation will be requested to participate as temporary members of the Military Advisory Committee of the League of Nations. The same press report also emphasized that that Commission is expected to play important role in disarmament meetings, as all technical problems will be handed over to it for an opinion.

Department has noted that invitation extended by League of Nations on December 12, 1925,55 referred to fact that Disarmament Commission would have at its disposal the advice of the League’s technical organizations. I should, however, consider it highly unfortunate if the League were to gain the impression that this Government, [Page 50] having agreed to be represented on the Preparatory Commission, would consent to turn over questions in which it had direct interest to an organization of the League on which it was not represented, and which, acting as an organ of the League and not being composed of governmental representatives, could not in this Government’s opinion appropriately be consulted in matters of importance to it.

We feel that the Preparatory Commission should refer technical questions to subcommittees formed from Commission itself and should not refer them to other organizations. Should other countries desire the opinion of their experts on League advisory commissions they could easily arrange to have these experts attached to Preparatory Commission. If two sets and types of organizations with different functions and capacities attempted to handle problems presented to Preparatory Commission the result would only be confusion.

That there may be no possibility of misunderstanding, Department desires you to bring above considerations to attention of League Secretariat with view to prevent premature formulation of plans in which the Government of the United States is not disposed to concur and which it might be obliged to oppose before the Preparatory Commission.

  1. Ante, p. 40.