868.51 Public Works/90: Telegram

The Chargé in Greece (Aldridge) to the Secretary of State

77. My 75, August 31, 6 p.m.22 The following is an English translation of the French text of note which has just been secured from the Foreign Office after repeated urgent requests:

“International Financial Commission, number 1044, Athens, August 28 [, 1929]. The British, French and Italian delegates to the [Page 106] International Financial Commission have not failed to submit to their respective Governments the letter which the Hellenic Minister of Finance was good enough to address to the President of the Commission on January 30 last, asking that the Commission take part in the service of the loan of 22,000,000 pounds sterling for public works in Greece, including the 4,000,000 pounds sterling already issued by Messrs. Hambro and the $54,000,000 to be secured by Messrs. J. B. [& W.] Seligman and Company.

The British, French and Italian delegates have now received instructions from their respective Governments to inform the Hellenic Government that the three interested Governments consider that it is inopportune in principle that the International Financial Commission extend its sphere of activity in assuming the responsibility of the service of any new loans in Greece, except in so far as it may eventually be necessary for the Commission to attach [assume?] responsibility of the service of the Greek share in the Ottoman debt. It is true that the Commission has been charged with the service of divers loans during the period of monetary instability when it was impossible for Greece to borrow under other conditions, but the three Governments cannot recognize that these cases constitute a tradition according to which all external loans would be submitted to the control of the International Financial Commission. With the amelioration of the credit of Greece since the stabilization of the drachma, it has already been shown that recourse to this procedure is not necessary, through the emission of the recent loan of 4,000,000 pounds sterling by Messrs. Hambro, and they consider that it is as much in the interest of Greece as of the three Governments represented on the International Financial Commission that in the future, barring a radical change of circumstances, the principle should be maintained that the International Financial Commission will not assume the responsibility of the service of any new loans, whether external or internal, with the exception mentioned at the end of the preceding paragraph.

For these reasons the three Governments regret that they cannot agree to instruct their delegates to the International Financial Commission to accept the service of the loan for public works. The same is true as regards the service of the 6 percent obligations of refugees, for which the Hellenic Government had made direct representations to these Governments.”

The note is addressed to the Greek Minister of Finance and is signed by the President, acting for the International Financial Commission.

French text follows by pouch.

  1. Not printed.