033.5111 Laval, Pierre/151

Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State (Castle)

The British Ambassador29 called to give me the substance of a telegram he had received from Lord Reading as to the hopes of the world concerning the Laval visit. Lord Reading said that since France and the United States by force of circumstances had become the two strongest nations in the world, the rest of the world looked at this visit of the French Premier with keen anticipation and hoped for great results. Lord Beading said that it was hoped not only that a good understanding might be reached between France and the [Page 252] United States, but that plans might be made looking toward the improvement of economic conditions through disarmament, settlement of war debts, etc., and that he hoped these plans might be very concrete.

I told the Ambassador that I thought it was very unfortunate that any such expectations as to the visit should be held. I remarked that M. Laval was going to be here three days only, that you can not settle world affairs in three days, and that there were many things which could not be settled between the United States and France in any case, because they concerned other nations.

I said that I hoped earnestly that this visit would bring a better understanding and that the President and M. Laval would have time to explore the possibilities of useful cooperation in the future, but that as to reaching many concrete decisions, this seemed to me extremely unlikely and probably unwise.

The Ambassador left after a short discussion of world affairs.

  1. Sir Ronald Lindsay.