800.51 W 89France/314: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Herrick) to the Secretary of State


221. Your telegram 153, June 2. M, Bérenger4 informs me that his explanations to his Parliamentary colleagues have dissipated much of the opposition to the agreement but consideration must be given to the internal political situation and further time for preparing the ground is necessary in spite of the fact that Briand’s recent triumph has cleared the air. He also said that in his opinion considerable influence would be exerted by the action of the exchanges. It is his belief and expectation that the agreement will be ratified before the Government’s financial proposals are introduced, which will probably be some time after June 20. I gathered that he expects the war debt agreement will be voted on between June 13 and June 20, although he was unwilling to commit himself as to dates. He added that he would guarantee ratification by France if the United States Senate should act before the French Parliament did. The vote of the House of Representatives pleased him very much and he expressed gratitude to the President for securing action in the House by the date he had told M. Bérenger.

It is possible that M. Bérenger is over-optimistic but a great effect has certainly been produced by his courageous attitude, and it would seem that ratification is assured unless the Briand Government should fall through some unexpected development.5

I shall see the Premier at the earliest opportunity and try to expedite action although, as M. Bérenger says, rather than risk an unfavorable vote it is better to act slowly.

  1. Henry Bérenger, French Senator and Ambassador in the United States.
  2. The Briand Ministry resigned June 15, following which there was a period of rapid changes of ministries. A ministry headed by Raymond Poincaré took office July 23.