Memorandum by the Secretary of State

Mr. Mills called on me today and I told him what had happened since I had seen him—particularly the events of yesterday and the cable from London from the Prime Minister, No. 187, and my reply and my message to London.

Mr. Mills told me of the two good points of today’s news—first, that Norman had himself advanced one hundred, fifty million schillings to Austria, and second, that the Steering Committee (Germany) had voted not to convene the Reichstag.

We discussed the possible methods of eventually bringing the matter up. I told him that I no longer thought there was any weight in the proposition of the bankers; that the initiative must come from the creditors end and not from Germany. I said I no longer thought that any announcement by Germany could affect her credit now, except possibly to do it good. He said he did not think Germany could stand on acting under the Young Plan alone, but must go further. He said he had had a suggestion from Eugene Meyer that the move should come in the shape of an appeal from Hindenburg to the President. I pointed out the difficulty of confining it to the President and the danger of its letting France and the others out—also of tying up our debt claims directly with Germany’s payments. He agreed that those were important. My point was that while there may be credit in having Hindenburg the source of the suggestion, it must not be confined to us but should go also to the other nations.

Mr. Mills said he thought that once the President has sounded out his opposition and straightened matters there, the next step would be to sound out France and see whether if we should make a suggestion, she would go along to the full extent of the German payments; that if she would not, we should say at once that we were not interested and not discuss the matter in any conference whatever. This last was in answer to my objection to conferences.

H[enry] L. S[timson]