Memorandum of Telephone Conversation 90

The Secretary told the President that he had talked with Mr. Mellon and that Mr. Mellon was arriving in Paris tomorrow and would go to London; that he had had talks with Henderson, Tyrrell, MacDonald and Sackett, both personally and over the telephone, and conferences with Laval and Flandin. He told the President that he had talked with Tyrrell and MacDonald about Norman and Norman’s view was not exactly the same as the British Government’s view. According to Tyrrell, Norman apparently wants to hold back everything until he has reformed European finance. The Secretary told the President that it was quite clear, he believed, that the British Government would not guarantee any loan although they were not prepared to go the full length of Norman’s views.

As a result of various conferences, the Germans are coming to Paris arriving tomorrow at 2 P.M. They will go into conference with the French on Saturday at 4 P.M., and on Sunday a general meeting which Henderson and the Secretary will attend. The Secretary explained that both he and Henderson had insisted that this conference should not anticipate the conference in London; that the Secretary had told the French that he would not see Bruening until after the French had seen him, and that he has already told the French and will tell the Germans the main thing he was anxious to do was to see that the French and the Germans come out closer together in these negotiations rather than further apart.

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At all the various conferences the Secretary has emphasized the fact that the United States Government has done all it can as a Government.

He asked the President specifically whether he approved of the following project, namely, for the Secretary to see the German Ambassador this afternoon and tell the German Ambassador that the United States Government had done all it can in the way of relief to Germany, that any further aid would have to come from private sources and as far as America is concerned this is problematical, and that the Germans had better make up their minds that they had to live with the French and adopt a conciliatory attitude. The Secretary informed the President that the impression which he found here, and to which he agreed, was that the Germans had been up to date trying to hide behind our skirts.

He emphasized to the President that he need not worry about the United States being made to hold the bag, that he, the Secretary, had made it clear with the French and he would make it clear with the Germans that we have no intention of doing so.

The President said that he approved very thoroughly of their trying to thrash out political questions here, if possible, before they go to London. The President also said he thought that a loan guaranteed by the French Government in Europe would kill the possibility of a public loan in the United States.

  1. Between the Secretary of State in Paris and President Hoover in Washington, July 17, 1931, 5:25 p.m.