500.C114/848: Telegram

The Minister in Switzerland (Wilson) to the Secretary of State


78. Your telegram No. 100, September 5, noon. Last night Gilbert27 and I called on Drummond whom I informed as instructed by you, and with whom I left a copy of your press statement.

With regard to the possible delay in ratification, Sir Eric appreciates your notifying him, but he begged me to say nothing whatever about it in any quarter. Any statement that such possibility exists would have discouraging effect on zeal of the conference, and we have been working enthusiastically to get the draft protocol through in most prompt and satisfactory manner to us. Drummond himself will keep silent on the subject.

It is not at all easy to convey to the Department the extent of consideration being given here at present to our opinions and difficulties. Those who were at the private meeting on September 4 in which Drummond made his statement of your position have told me that the satisfaction and enthusiasm were dramatic, and that sole concern of all was to smooth our road. As was stated in the [Page 29] Consulate’s telegram of September 7, noon,28 Van Eysinga29 earnestly assured Gilbert and me that decision of conference to leave protocol of amendment practically intact [was due to?] the fact that Root had collaborated and that text was thus presumably satisfactory to the United States.

I have sketched theme in this brief manner as background for further independent statements made by Drummond and Van Eysinga. I was urged by latter to cable my Government to point out satisfaction that would be universally felt were it possible to affix signature of draft protocol before close of the Assembly. Van Eysinga believes that large majority will sign as soon as protocol is open, and he hopes that you will not feel that it is obligatory to wait for unanimity as all the states may not have sent full powers, although agreement has been expressed by all.

As for Sir Eric, he thinks that the other powers will recognize the legislative difficulties and will understand the delay in ratification, especially if some statement of reasons for it might be made in Washington at some convenient time in future, but he hopes very earnestly that our signature may be affixed as soon as possible so that there may be no backward flow from present enthusiastic wave of cooperation.

  1. Prentiss B. Gilbert, assistant chief of the Division of Western European Affairs.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Vice chairman of the Committee of Jurists.