500.A15/187: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Switzerland (Winslow)

48. Your 75 [73], March 29, 5 p.m. Department notes your statement that Drummond has explained that as he cannot appoint a member of the American Delegation, he proposes to appoint an unofficial American citizen to sit with the Joint Commission for the purpose and for the duration of the Preparatory Disarmament Conference. The Department made clear in my No. 22, February 6, 6 P.M., its views that the Preparatory Commission should not refer technical questions of direct interest to the United States to subcommittees of the League but to sub-committees of its own organization. This was communicated to Madariaga on February 18 [17] by Mr. Gibson. The Department cannot understand why there [Page 68] should be any necessity for a Joint Commission of the League to sit with the committees of the Preparatory Disarmament Conference. So far as questions affecting the United States are concerned, all questions should be considered by the Preparatory Commission or sub-committees of that Commission. If other countries desire to refer any questions affecting them to a League Commission, that is something with which we are not concerned. The United States can participate in the work of the Preparatory Commission only to the extent of the participation of the representatives sent by the President. The Preparatory Commission is competent to determine its own procedure, to appoint sub-committees and to seek information where it deems best. It would be unfortunate to limit its freedom of action in this respect by any decisions reached at this time. You should present the foregoing views to Drummond.