500.A15A4/1495: Telegram

The American Delegate (Wilson) to the Secretary of State

399. From Davis. Simon is seeing Herriot today in Paris and further action regarding London conversations will presumably depend on outcome of this interview as to which Simon said he would inform me tonight. British, however, seemed determined to press for a meeting as they view with apprehension development of critical situation between France and Germany. Initial French reaction as judged from my conversations with Boncour and Massigli is unfavorable to a meeting in London particularly in case Belgium, Czechoslovakia and Poland are not invited. French apparently willing to carry on conversations here within scope of disarmament discussions but it seems unlikely that Germans would consent to return to Geneva without making conditions as to eventual acceptance their thesis which France obviously would be unwilling to give in advance.

Herriot informed me Saturday that France-Italian relations had improved considerably within the past few days. I am of course taking no part in British efforts to force meeting and as indicated your cable wisdom of my participation in eventual conversations can hardly be determined until exact account of such conversations are determined. Fully appreciate importance of avoiding being drawn into any conversations which are not definitely related to disarmament negotiations in which we are now participating.

Leaving for Paris Wednesday night with Hepburn and Dulles72 and expect proceed London Friday for naval conversations. In agreement with Simon and Cadogan, Wilson and I propose advising informally Japanese, French and Italian representatives, who are here for disarmament work, of proposed naval discussions pointing-out that purpose is to explore basis for smoothing out points of [Page 455] difference between naval proposals of the President’s plan and the Baldwin statement in Parliament in order to help give effect to the section of the final resolution of treaty for the Disarmament Conference relating to naval disarmament. [Davis.]

  1. Allen W. Dulles was serving as Legal Adviser; Admiral Arthur J. Hepburn and Lieutenant Colonel George V. Strong were to assist in the disarmament negotiations.