500.A15A4/1176: Telegram

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

391. Paris edition New York Herald this morning gives front page publicity to United Press telegram dated London yesterday to the effect that:

“Great Britain and the United States, it was learned from a reliable source here tonight, have reached an unwritten gentlemen’s agreement that both will follow the same disarmament policy and that reparations must cease. It was agreed, however, that both these points of the accord will become effective only in the event of failure of the Lausanne and Geneva Conferences. The agreement provides that the United States grant Great Britain special debt reductions or a moratorium to be announced after the American Presidential elections and provide[d] Hoover is reelected.”

The article concludes by stating that:

“The significance of the accord is that if a general agreement to abolish reparations and reduce armaments is not reached, Great Britain presumably will undertake to abandon reparations even if other European nations decline to do so. This together with the united Anglo-American disarmament front, it is reported, is one of the conditions on which the United States is prepared to renegotiate Great Britain’s war debt separately”.

After talking with the Embassy at London, at the latter’s suggestion, I am informing the Foreign Office here that the report, so far as our London Embassy is concerned, is untrue as evidenced by the fact that Mr. Mellon has not seen any member of the British Government this week.

It may be that you will wish to have some form of official denial issued in Washington,4 however, as of course such a report if republished here in the French press may have an unfortunate effect.

  1. See Department of State, Press Releases, June 25, 1932, pp. 592–593.