033.5111 Laval, Pierre/215

Joint Statement by President Hoover and Prime Minister Laval

The traditional friendship between the United States and France, the absence of all controversy between our two Governments, a record of many events in collaboration toward peace of the world, embracing among its recent phases the adoption of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, render it possible and opportune for the representatives of our Governments to explore every aspect of the many problems in which we are mutually interested.

Indeed the duty of statesmen is not to overlook any means of practical cooperation for the common good. This is particularly true at a time when the world looks for leadership in relief from a depression which reaches into countless homes in every land. Relations of mutual confidence between governments have the most important bearing upon speeding the recovery which we seek. We have engaged upon that mission with entire frankness. We have made real progress.

We canvassed the economic situation in the world, the trends in international relations bearing upon it; the problems of the forthcoming conference for limitation and reduction of armaments; the effect of the depression on payments under intergovernmental debts; the stabilization of international exchanges and other financial and economic subjects.

[Page 253]

An informal and cordial discussion has served to outline with greater precision the nature of the problems. It has not been the purpose of either of us to engage in commitments binding our governments, but rather, through development of fact, to enable each country to act more effectively in its own field.

It is our joint purpose that the conference for limitation of armaments will not fail to take advantage of the great opportunity which presents itself and that it will be capable of meeting what is in reality its true mission, that is the organization on a firm foundation of permanent peace.

Insofar as intergovernmental obligations are concerned we recognize that prior to the expiration of the Hoover year of postponement, some agreement regarding them may be necessary covering the period of business depression, as to the terms and conditions of which the two governments make all reservations. The initiative in this matter should be taken30 by the European powers principally concerned within the framework of the agreements existing prior to July 1, 1931.

Our especial emphasis has been upon the more important means through which the efforts of our governments could be exerted toward restoration of economic stability and confidence. Particularly we are convinced of the importance of monetary stability as an essential factor in the restoration of normal economic life in the world in which the maintenance of the gold standard in France and the United States will serve as a major influence.

It is our intent to continue to study methods for the maintenance of stability in international exchanges.

While in the short time at our disposal it has not been possible to formulate definite programs, we find that we view the nature of these financial and economic problems in the same light and that this understanding on our part should serve to pave the way for helpful action by our respective governments.

  1. Here the original English text of the joint statement included the phrase “at an early date”. Upon comparison with the original French text, which did not contain the phrase, it was deleted. The comparison of texts was made by Jean Jacques Bizot, Director of the Movement of Funds of the French Ministry of Finance, and J. Theodore Marriner, Counselor of the American Embassy in Paris.