Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Dulles)

The Persian Minister called Friday afternoon and received the Secretary’s note communicating the name of Dr. A. C. Millspaugh as a possible candidate for the post of Financial Adviser to the Persian Government. The Minister’s first reaction appeared to me [Page 528]to be disappointment that the Department had seen fit to make such ample reservations that no responsibility was assumed by the Government in indicating Dr. Millspaugh’s name. He remarked that the Secretary’s note contained more explicit reservations than in the case of Secretary Knox’s note regarding Mr. Shuster.9

The Persian Minister seemed to be pleased at the suggestion of Dr. Millspaugh, remarking that his name had also occurred to him. He indicated that he would immediately communicate the Secretary’s note to his Government. The Minister asked whether Millspaugh had had any foreign experience and at his request I left with him a short biography of Dr. Millspaugh.

On Saturday, June 24th, following the Secretary’s instructions, I spoke with Mr. Craigie of the British Embassy regarding the Persian Advisership matter. I referred to the very cordial communication which Sir Auckland Geddes had left with the Secretary in April10 and read to Mr. Craigie one paragraph of that memorandum in which the British Government had indicated that they would welcome and gladly cooperate with any “American officials” who might be designated to assist the Persian Government. I told Mr. Craigie that the Department had informed the Persian Minister that it would assist him in selecting an American citizen as Financial Adviser but that this did not mean that American officials were being sent or would be sent to Persia. The Department’s action in the matter would consist in indicating one or more persons who in the Secretary’s opinion were qualified for the Persian position. The actual selection of these men would rest with the Persian Government and it would be for the Persian Government to reach an agreement directly with any American whose services the Persian administration might desire. I added that the Department would assume no responsibility for the actions or the policies of American citizens in the employ of the Persian Government.

I indicated to Mr. Craigie that a communication in this general sense had already been sent to the Persian Minister but did not mention the name of Dr. Millspaugh as having been suggested to the Persian Government.

Mr. Craigie said that the British memorandum regarding Persian advisers was strictly confidential, that in fact they had been instructed to communicate with the Department “in the sense of” the memorandum rather than to communicate the memorandum itself but they had found it so difficult to do this that they had decided to communicate it in toto. The Embassy hoped that we would respect its confidential character. Mr. Craigie then expressed his appreciation [Page 529]of the information he had been given in regard to the Department’s attitude towards advisers for Persia.

A. W. Dulles
  1. Aide-mémoire of Nov. 27, 1911, Foreign Relations, 1911, p. 683.
  2. Ante, p. 523.