860c.24/51: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Poland (Pearson)

1. For your information. Following received from Embassy London:

“2, January 1, noon. Mr. Nichols, Vice President of Colt firearms, represents to me that his firm has been negotiating a contract with the Polish Government for about three years for furnishing automatic machine rifles involving about ten million dollars, that the Polish Government were practically committed to the contract when the French Government recently intervened on behalf of Hotchkiss of France with the result that it would appear likely that Colts will lose the contract. Price offered by Colts and other conditions thought to be practically the same as Hotchkiss. Matter will be decided by Polish Government between the 5th and 8th of January.

Mr. Nichols asks informal diplomatic intervention through American Minister at Warsaw. Colts have a representative there.

Mr. Nichols would like to be informed of your decision.”

Department has replied as follows:

“The Department’s general policy in the matter of the sale of arms and munitions of war is outlined in the Monthly Political Report for September, 1923,1 pages 43 to 45. The Department does not feel that it could appropriately take the action suggested by Mr. Nichols.”

  1. Not printed; but see telegram No. 53, Sept. 12, 1923, to the Minister in Switzerland, Foreign Relations, 1923, vol. i, p. 38, and statement to the press quoted in telegram No. 61, Sept. 27, 1923, to the Minister in Switzerland, ibid., p. 42.