Memorandum by the Secretary of State

The French Ambassador36 then brought up the subject of the discussions with Monsieur Laval and read from a paper indicating that I had suggested in the course of those discussions that we should enter into a four power naval pact. I told him that there must be some misunderstanding because I had never made any such suggestion. I told him that in the course of the discussions I had told Monsieur Laval that I thought the Franco-Italian negotiations had brought those two countries so close to an agreement that they ought to be able now to agree and that I had urged such an agreement. I told him that when Laval had suggested that the fault of disagreement was with Italy, I had told him frankly that I did not think so, basing my opinion upon my close acquaintance with the negotiations at London and subsequently. I told him also that during the course of our talk with Laval somebody had suggested that the escalator clause might be used to facilitate agreement but that I did not recollect anybody suggesting a four power treaty.

H[enry] L. S[timson]
  1. Paul Claudel.