The French Ambassador ( Daeschner ) to the Secretary of State


Mr. Secretary of State: In compliance with the wish expressed by the letters of Your Excellency dated September 15 and October 6 last,18 I had suggested to my Government in behalf of the American Government that the meetings of the First Committee of the Washington Conference of 1920 be resumed on the 10th of this month.

According to the answer I have just received from the Minister of Foreign Affairs I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that my Government would like to respond to that invitation but does not think that the contemplated meeting will achieve any result unless the propositions which the American Government might have to offer are first examined, on account of the objections caused by the Fletcher plan concerning the allotment of the German cables. It therefore asks that the meeting be not held on November 10. As a matter of fact, as my Government has already remarked, it cannot concur in Mr. Fletcher’s plan and, in particular, cannot give up the Brest–Azores–New York cable.

With regard to the Yap–Menado cable, as Germany agrees that the value of the cable be not credited to her account the French Government makes no further reservations with respect to its being allotted to the Netherlands.

Finally, my Government sees no use in giving attention to the value of the cables in the allotment. The Reparation Commission will credit Germany with the whole amount of the estimate made by it after deducting the value of the Yap–Menado cable and will then transfer to the debit side of each power to which a cable is allotted, the value of that cable.

Be pleased [etc.]

E. Daeschner
  1. File translation revised.
  2. Latter not printed.