711.5112 France/128

The Chargé in Germany (Poole) to the Secretary of State

No. 3076

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the Department’s circular telegram of 6 p.m., January 6, 1928,1 and to report that I duly delivered to the Foreign Office for the consideration of the German Government the texts of the draft pact of perpetual friendship between France and the United States and the American reply of December 28, 1927.2

The Foreign Office officials expressed a lively interest and much appreciation of the action of the American Government in making this communication. The Secretary of State, Herr von Schubert, told me that he was studying the texts very carefully himself and had submitted them also to the legal expert of the Foreign Office, Herr Gauss. He suggested that it was possible that in due course he would have some observations to make of either a formal or an informal nature.

I hear privately that the Foreign Office has already concluded that the American proposal for a general treaty does not conflict with the obligations of a member of the League of Nations.

During an informal conversation today Mr. de Haas, who is in charge of American affairs at the Foreign Office, made a point of referring to the Root treaty aspect of the negotiations with France and remarked upon the fact that there was no arbitration treaty between the United States and Germany. He said that this void had been a subject of discussion in the Foreign Office as much as a year ago and was one of the matters which had been particularly discussed with the new German Ambassador to the United States, Herr von Prittwitz. The latter had been instructed to sound out the State Department at the first good opportunity regarding the readiness of the American Government to enter into negotiations [Page 863] with Germany for the conclusion of an arbitration treaty. Mr. de Haas said that it was the intention of the Foreign Office to proceed very cautiously, as the German Government had learned since the war not to broach such matters with foreign Governments until there was an intimation that an approach would be well received.

I have [etc.]

D. C. Poole