Memorandum by Mr. Wallace McClure, Assistant to the Economic Adviser
On yesterday I had an opportunity to enter into conversation with Congressman Cordell Hull of Tennessee and took occasion to remind him of the fact that Dr. Thomas Walker Page, of the Institute of Economics, a member of the Preparatory Commission of the International Economic Conference, had telephoned to him in regard to this subject shortly after returning from Geneva, after attending the second session of the Preparatory Commission.
Mr. Hull expressed considerable interest in the subject, noting his pleasure in the fact that the President had sent a message to Congress asking for an appropriation with which to defray the expenses of American participation in the appointment of members of the Conference. When questioned as to what he considered to be the appropriate line of action for such a Conference to take, Mr. Hull confined his remarks almost entirely to the question of tariff barriers. He spoke at some length in regard to the desirability of a general reduction of import duties and appeared to feel that the tariff of the United States is the key to the entire world situation. When I suggested that perhaps concrete results from this Conference could scarcely go beyond the subject of equality of treatment in commercial matters, he expressed heartily his interest on this ground. He referred to speeches which he had made on the subject in 1916 and on subsequent occasions.
Mr. Hull expressed the opinion that the only danger connected with the desired appropriation would lie in the possible objection of some individual or individuals to its passage, with consequent delay and [Page 240] possible failure because of the end of the session. He expressed the opinion that whatever Mr. Madden’s Committee recommended would be adopted by the House.
Speaking in regard to an entirely different subject, Mr. Hull expressed the opinion that the action of the Democrats in defeating the Lausanne Treaty83 was ill-advised; was the result of misunderstanding and propaganda, and would not result in getting a better treaty for the United States with Turkey.