441.11 W 892/101

Memorandum by the Secretary of State

The British Ambassador called on me Wednesday, February sixteenth, and inquired of me if it was going to be possible for me to exchange notes settling the claims question between Great Britain and the United States. I told him I did not think it possible until after the fourth of March; that I had to go through the details of the entire transaction which would take me some time; that I must take it up with the President and possibly with some committees [Page 747] of the Senate and House; and that the matter involved a great many difficulties, as he knew; and I had been pressed with other matters and not in the best of health; that he must remember it was over a year and a half after I came into office before the British Government was even willing to discuss the matter, and that he must give me time to carefully consider the matter and take it up with the President. I told him I hoped to be able to do it some time within the next two months. While he was not entirely satisfied with it he realized the situation.