033.5111 Laval, Pierre/168

Memorandum by the Secretary of State

The British Ambassador came in to ask about the Laval conversations, and I gave him a summary of the main points of the discussion [Page 254]and asked him to send it to Mr. MacDonald and Lord Reading. I told him in substance—

1.
That the result of the personal contact had been extremely good; that the President had the same impression of Laval that I had, and that was the main thing.
2.
That on the financial conversations, we had found the two governments rather surprisingly in accord on the topics discussed, which was encouraging. I told him what the plan was as to reparations and debts. I told him of the broader aspect of the monetary conference which included not only the maintenance of the gold standard ourselves but the contemplation of possible help to stabilization of the exchanges of those nations which had gone off it;31 that we had not liked to speak especially of any of these nations publicly because it would seem patronizing, but that both of us felt desirous to help Great Britain.
3.
That as to disarmament and the consideration of any adjustment of the political instability of Europe, the results had been disappointing, Laval standing on the conventional attitude of France in those respects. I told him, however, that there had been some very frank talk in regard to these matters and that it might bear fruit eventually. I told him among other things of the interchange on the Franco-Italian naval agreement.32

H[enry] L. S[timson]
  1. By October 26, 1931, gold payments had been suspended or restricted by the following countries: Austria, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, England, Finland, Greece, Iceland, India, Irish Free State, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Yugoslavia (Moratorium on Foreign Debts: Hearings before the Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives, 72d Cong., 1st sess., on H. J. Res. 123, etc. (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1931), pp. 8 ff.)
  2. See vol. i, pp. 358 ff.