500.A15A4/1178: Telegram

The Chargé in France (Armour) to the Secretary of State

394. After the Council of Ministers which discussed today the negotiations at Lausanne and Geneva, the text of the Secretary’s telegram [Page 223]of the 23rd [22nd] to Paul-Boncour was given to the press and has appeared in all the papers.

Herriot then made a statement to the press regarding President Hoover’s communiqué. A translation follows:

“When I was informed that the American Government proposed to send a message I was worried about the effect on the procedure which had already been decided upon. I said as much to the American delegates. However, the message of President Hoover arrived. What is the attitude of the French Government with regard to it?

It has the greatest consideration for everything that comes from President Hoover. I have read and re-read the message and I will read it over again. I have not failed to notice that certain of its terms have obviously been inserted out of regard for France. That is the case with regard to the paragraph of the message relative to fortifications. It is also the case with the recognition of the principle which we have always defended of the interdependence of land, air and naval forces.

On the other hand however I wonder whether certain terms of the message have not been changed in its transmission. For example, that part of the document where the forces of Germany are evaluated at 100,000 men.

I wonder also whether the American program has taken into account the coalitions which are possible. Let’s admit that the nations A, B, C be given certain military forces. Has it been taken into account that A and B might unite against C? It is for that reason that we French have always wished and still wish for an international organization and control.

I wish to hope that the negotiations engaged in at Geneva will continue and for my part I will not cease to study the Hoover message most seriously”.