033.5111 Laval, Pierre/83: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Edge) to the Secretary of State

[Paraphrase]

654. Department’s number 482, 8th of October.23 This afternoon when I saw Laval he told me that Reading24 had offered no definite suggestions with regard to the Prime Minister’s visit to the United [Page 248]States. Reading had only expressed his strong desire that some basis of an accord could be reached on the questions of reparations, debts, security, and armament. Laval stated that in the provisional state of the British Government, Reading had come to Paris only to acquaint himself with the prospects of the American visit, from which he hoped much, and with the results of the Berlin conversations.

It was indicated by Laval that he had gathered from the press that the President might be considering some detailed moratorium proposal. Taking the opportunity which was thus presented, I reassured him in accordance with the Department’s telegram number 482, 4 p.m., October 8, to say that it was my hope that he, too, was not going to the United States with limited or definite prospects in mind. It is his intention, he stated, to have the fullest and freest exchange of views possible. Laval did not seem to be disturbed by the speculations and rumors in the press. Throughout the conversation he manifested the most pleasurable anticipation of his visit.

With further reference to the Department’s telegram 482 and following the line of your explanation to newspaper men in the United States that “the Laval discussions will be a natural interchange of views and suggestions”, I personally met at lunch yesterday, as the guest of Lawrence Hills, editor of the Paris Herald, 25 French newspaper men, including those who will accompany the Laval party to the United States. I employed this occasion to impress upon them the wide opportunity for a comprehensive exchange of views which the Laval visit would afford. Articles throughout the French press today, copies of which will be forwarded by pouch in the usual way, furnish very good evidence that this objective was accepted.

Edge
  1. Not printed.
  2. British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.