The Department of State to the British Embassy
The Department of State has given careful consideration to the Aide Memoire of November 25, 1926, communicated by His Britannic Majesty’s Minister to the Acting Secretary of State, and is grateful for the full statement set forth therein concerning various aspects of the proposal of His Majesty’s Government that the representatives of Great Britain, France, and the United States should address a joint protest to the Greek Government regarding the supplementary contract concluded between the latter and the Foundation Company of New York.
A careful re-examination of the Canadian Agreement of December, 1923, and of the contract of the Swedish Match Company of July last in the light of the considerations set forth in the Aide Memoire of His Britannic Majesty’s Minister has failed to convince the Department of State that it should change its view as to the incompatibility of these transactions with Article 4 of the 1918 Loan Agreement.
With respect to the Geneva Protocol the commitments of His Majesty’s Government and of the Government of the United States do not appear to be similar. In giving its consent to the pledging by the Greek Government of certain security for the purpose of floating the refugee relief loan the United States Government expressly and fully made reservation of all questions with respect to the Loan Agreement of 1918. His Britannic Majesty’s Minister indicates that His [Page 379] Majesty’s Government defined its attitude towards the refugee loan along somewhat less reserved lines.
That the United States Government does not consider Article 4 of the 1918 Loan Agreement to be a dead letter is clearly shown by its protest concerning the Canadian Agreement13 and by its communication to the Greek Legation in Washington on July 21 last,14 in which it was pointed out that the contract of the Swedish Match Company was in violation of the 1918 Agreement.
The Aide-Memoire of November 25th of His Majesty’s Minister, after making certain explanations as to the motives that led the British Government to refrain from opposing the Canadian and Swedish agreements, indicates that it is apparently the possibility that some tendency to indiscriminate borrowing might manifest itself in the future which has led His Majesty’s Government to propose the making of a joint protest regarding the supplementary contract of the Foundation Company of New York. In considering specifically this proposal, the Department of State is impressed by the fact that the very considerations which influenced His Majesty’s Government in giving its consent to the contract for the supplying of water to the city of Athens would seem to apply in an even greater degree to the Foundation Company’s contract: namely, the undoubted and immediate practical utility to Greece of the projects provided for in these contracts. The project of the Foundation Company, which is for the reclamation of marsh land in the Salonica Plain area, would undoubtedly contribute to the solution of the difficult refugee problem in Macedonia. The importance of such work from the point of view of refugee settlement has recently been emphasized in a report to the League of Nations entitled “Greek Refugee Settlement”. (Publications of the League of Nations. II. Economic and Financial. 1926, II. 32.) This project would therefore appear to have even greater humanitarian potentialities than the Ulen contract and in any event to justify a greater degree of consideration than the loan of the Swedish Match Company, concerning the productive character of which His Majesty’s Government at one time apparently entertained some doubt.
In view of the fact that the position of the United States Government with respect to Article 4 of the 1918 Agreement has been brought to the attention of the Greek Government as recently as July 21 last, and particularly having in mind the humanitarian aspect of the [Page 380] Foundation Company’s project, the Government of the United States does not perceive that the suggested representations on this subject would serve any useful purpose at the present time.