500.A15A4 Permanent Disarmament Commission/14

Memorandum by the Secretary of State

I sent for the French Ambassador and when he came I went over hastily with him the information given to me in cable No. 430, of November 3rd, 3 p.m., from Wilson at Geneva. I told him very sketchily of the proposition as to effectives and land matériel and the political point in regard to equality of legal status for Germany. Then I read him the paragraph in which Wilson stated that Aubert had brought up the question of formalizing the obligation for consultation. I pointed out that Aubert was insistent that there should be a formal obligation in the shape, apparently, of a multilateral agreement for consultation. I told M. Claudel that as he knew, that would be quite impossible. He said that of course it would be wholly impossible. He said that he supposed the utmost I could possibly do would be to make a unilateral declaration. I said that while I myself would be in favor of that, I had not even brought the President as far as that point yet, and for the French to bring up a demand for a formal agreement to consult would simply undo all my work. He said, “I understand perfectly. You mean it would set us backward.” I replied, “Yes.” He told me he had already communicated with his government on this subject but that he would take up this matter with [Page 360]them now. I told him I called on him because I knew how well he understood our position here. He said that he understood it perfectly.

H[enry] L. S[timson]