Memorandum by the Secretary of State of a Conversation With the German Ambassador in France (Von Hoesch), Paris, July 17, 1931, at 7 p.m.
At seven o’clock I sent for the German Ambassador and saw him with Ambassador Edge. He was a very young, intelligent, conciliatory man. He has been Ambassador in Paris ever since the war. He brought up the question of what was going to happen when the Germans got here. That gave me my opportunity. I told him that since he brought up the question I would answer him frankly. I thought the conference was of the utmost importance and it was of the utmost importance that both nations, France and Germany, go into it in a thoroughly conciliatory spirit and should endeavor to make these coming conferences, on which so much depended, result in the two nations coming out closer together rather than wider apart. I told him that the American Government had done all that it could as a Government in its contribution of $260,000,000 in debt payments to the welfare of the world, primarily for the Germans. Whatever else in the way of assistance the Germans received would have to be [Page 275] on a regular basis from the banks. That meant that Germany would have to help out the situation herself. I told him and I said I wanted him to know that I had been here three days in constant touch with this matter and I had reached the conclusion that the French were trying to play fair and I wanted him to have the Germans go into the conference and have that in mind. I said again and again the whole result of the conference depended upon Bruening and Laval going into this conference and being conciliatory on such questions as they took up. He expressed the same view and seemed to be grateful for what I said.