462.00R296/4467: Telegram

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

81. Reference is made to my telegram No. 80, July 13, 11 p.m.72 Last night the Belgian Cabinet decided, pending some German initiative toward direct negotiations, to withhold action on proposals for notification of provisional postponement of German payments and Belgian participation in the London Conference.

Throughout this period we have been in close touch with the Belgian authorities and it seems evident that three factors are contributing to this shortsighted decision: (1) strong French pressure to bring the Government back to supporting the French position; (2) a state of misgiving and lack of confidence resulting from the reports of the Belgian Ambassador in Washington (I have been able to counteract this on some individual points, but the minds of the Belgian officials have undoubtedly been prejudiced); and (3) complete confusion of mind as to what is happening in Germany and what the consequences will be for Belgium.

The British Embassy has had no success in its efforts to get a reply to its invitation to the Belgians to attend the London Conference.

  1. Not printed.