462.00 R 296/2425: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in France (Armour)


368. Please communicate the following to Gilbert for his confidential information:

Your telegram of October 23 to me16 has been taken into consideration by President Coolidge, Secretary Mellon, and me.

You desire, as I understand it, information regarding the United States attitude on the following:

Whether this Government is in principle willing for American citizens to serve as independent experts on a committee similar to the Dawes Committee. This Government will give the most sympathetic consideration to such a request if the Allied European Governments officially make it and if they submit names of American citizens as their appointees to serve on the committee.
Whether this Government is ready to cooperate with other Governments concerned so far as designating two citizens to serve on the committee. The answer to this question should be, “no.” The mere fact of the Government’s assumption of responsibility for their selection [Page 874] carries with it so much official responsibility for their recommendation that I do not believe this Government will or should care to assume it. The American interest in reparations is entirely too small to justify this Government’s assumption, either directly or indirectly, of any responsibility respecting settlement of the whole problem of reparations.
Whether this Government is willing for an individual in an official position of the Government to serve in private capacity on the committee. “No” should be the answer to this. This Government does not think it appropriate for one of its officials to sit on such a committee. Such action would carry with it more or less official responsibility.

The foregoing confidential information is stated on the understanding that this experts committee will not examine into nor make any recommendations concerning the Allied Governments’ or any other European debts to the United States.

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