551.5F1/154: Telegram

The Minister in Switzerland (Wilson) to the Acting Secretary of State


111. Legation’s 110, August 28, 3 p.m.55 Davis tells me that the Financial Commission is amenable to a resolution of his which would have the Council delegate to the Commission the creation of a committee to study the silver problem. The membership of the committee would include the personnel of the Financial Commission, experts, and delegates from the Governments interested. The assignment of the silver committee would be to investigate the several aspects of the question involved; finally to consider the advisability of a recommendation calling for a conference. In our opinion, we can expedite the Council’s adoption of a resolution to that effect, if the Financial Commission introduces it. Thursday is the day for the Financial Commission to assemble. Because the Commission had previously stimulated the International Chamber of Commerce to prepare a report on the subject, it hesitates to establish the silver committee while the other study is in preparation. No great importance should be attached to this sentiment since the survey of the Chamber of Commerce would be completed before the silver committee could be assembled.

Before leaving for the League meeting, Davis talked over the phone with the President on this subject. Consequently, the former, and I, too, would like to know whether the plan just outlined is satisfactory. Davis is hopeful that I shall have a reply for him before the Financial Commission meets on September 3.

This approach to the problem, if I correctly understand the Department’s point of view, is the least satisfactory. It merely brings into the realm of possibility the calling of a conference in the near future. An investigation of the silver question similar to that made of gold would certainly be probable. Moreover, it is likely that not until the silver committee finished its work would the call to a conference be issued. Nevertheless, the conviction of Davis is that he could proceed no further with the Financial Commission. My own opinion is that officials in the Secretariat would not like to see a conference summoned immediately. They feel that the League would be risking a failure if no preliminary investigation was made [Page 626] prior to the arrival of the delegates. On that basis, they would, therefore, oppose any suggestion of the idea.

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