500.A15/818: Telegram

The Ambassador in Belgium (Gibson) to the Secretary of State


79. Yesterday I discussed the future work of the Preparatory Commission with Loudon, the chairman of the Commission, who came from Paris in order to see me.

In his opinion, to hold another meeting before some kind of agreement is reached between Great Britain and the United States would be disastrous. The French, he feels, now realize that further fruitless meetings are dangerous as allowing the Soviet Government a chance to cause trouble. No difficulty is expected by him in postponing meetings for about six months, but at the end of that time pressure for some sort of meeting is feared.

In my opinion Loudon feels that by suggesting the resumption of discussions on the naval question through the Preparatory Commission he burnt his fingers, and he will now attempt to induce the governments interested to agree to postpone more or less indefinitely the meeting of the Commission on the theory that in an agreement between Great Britain and the United States lies the only hope for future progress.

Loudon was informed by me that I could not give him the views of the Department on this subject, but that, in my personal opinion, I agreed that if it was obvious that no further progress was possible there was no purpose in holding a meeting.

Wilson has been sent a copy.