033.5111 Laval, Pierre/48
Memorandum by the Secretary of State
During the call of the Bulgarian Minister,21 he congratulated me on the results of my trip to Europe last summer,22 and said that everyone was looking forward to the great importance of M. Laval’s visit. I replied that we were trying to do all in our power to make that visit a success; that I had been myself greatly encouraged by the fact that this summer the statesmen representing France, Germany, England and Italy were beginning to meet and talk in a friendly spirit about subjects they would not have dared to discuss a year or two ago. He said that was so and he thought it was the beginning of a new era. He commented on the influence of America in this situation. I told him that while our people would not intrude into local problems of Europe, they were interested in one large aspect of the European situation: namely, that these local questions should be settled without war and in a peaceful and reasonable way which would not lead to war.
The Minister spoke of reparations and said that Europe had always had a “hypnos”; that at one time it was alliances, then it was war, and now it was reparations. I pointed out that the burden of reparations, even financially, was not at all the largest burden bearing on Europe. He said that that was so but this “hypnos” gave it an additional importance and he hoped that America could help clear away that “hypnos”. I told him he must remember that that meant the burden of payments of the War should be entirely shifted over to America. He laughed and went out.