The Minister in Switzerland ( Wilson ) to the Secretary of State
[Received September 17—3:50 p.m.]
135. Department’s 108, September 16, 4 p.m. Davis maintains that an inquiry (see my 128, September 14, 11 p.m.) by the Financial Commission would certainly expedite direct negotiations by the powers involved. That Commission is manifestly anxious to solve the problem, but it must take into consideration the effect on the prestige of the League of another reverse in the economic sphere. The Financial Commission interprets a “conference” as being a meeting of plenipotentiaries, called only when there is reasonable prospect for practical achievement. A “study” can be pursued quietly, without thought of failure. The Commission looks upon a study as an inevitable preliminary step to a conference. My observation is that on occasion a government could use the study to block a proposal, but in the present case apparently no state has such a desire in mind; indeed, the contrary appears to be true.
I should like to be promptly instructed in the matter.