500.A15/208a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in France ( Whitehouse )

93. As indicated in Department’s 52, April 8, 4 p.m. to the Embassy in London, repeated to you for your confidential information, Department has taken up with the Secretary General of the League certain questions with regard to the work of the Preparatory Commission and has expressed the hope that questions of procedure, particularly with reference to time of adjournment or delegation of Preparatory Commission’s work to League committees would not be determined prior to the meeting of the Preparatory Commission.

Legation at Berne is being instructed to mail you immediately a copy of our note of April 8 to the League Secretariat78 covering the foregoing points. This note concluded with the following statement:

“The American representation on the Preparatory Commission will be prepared to participate in the work of this Commission in a spirit of cooperation and helpfulness in the hope that its deliberations may result in constructive achievement.”

The foregoing sentence expresses the policy of this Government. Our delegation has been selected and is planning to sail for Europe on April 30th. It is fully prepared to participate in a helpful and constructive way in the work of the Preparatory Commission.

The Department has noted with some surprise press reports from Paris to the effect that “a strong campaign for another postponement” has been started there. This Government believes that any discussion of the disarmament question would serve a useful purpose and that it is very desirable to make a beginning on the preparatory work even though final conclusions may not be possible at this time. For its part it would regret to see a postponement of the meeting of the Preparatory Commission and knows of no recent developments which would justify postponement.

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The foregoing is for your information and guidance in the event either (1) that any attempt should be made in any quarter to misrepresent this Government’s attitude in the matter; or (2) that Foreign Office should seek from you an indication of this Government’s views.

Report any developments by telegraph. Mail copies to London, Rome, Brussels, Berne and Prague.

  1. See telegram No. 54, Apr. 7, to the Chargé in Switzerland, p. 70.