500.A15A4/1501: Telegram

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

582. From Davis. Lord Tyrrell gave me today an account of the talk which Simon had with Herriot Wednesday and the efforts to bring about discussions in London which have so far been inconclusive. He said that Herriot told Simon he thought it was a most inopportune time to stage such a meeting since on account of pending elections Germany would not feel free to negotiate an agreement now and the United States might be less inclined to participate. Herriot said, however, that while he was reluctant to refuse to attend such a meeting he thought the chances of failure were great and that failure would make the situation worse but that if the British insisted he would discuss the matter with his Cabinet. Tyrrell told me that so far the French had not reached a final decision; that he had had a 3 hours’ talk last night with Herriot whose attitude was still substantially as above indicated but that he was to see him again this afternoon and would inform me afterwards of the result. I told Tyrrell I had been waited [waiting?] to see how the matter finally shaped itself before making any recommendation to Washington and that I had refrained from taking any part in the efforts to bring about such a meeting because I was not authorized to do so and did not feel justified in attempting to bring any pressure to bear on France or Germany. At any rate to [the?] most we could do would be to use our good offices if sought and if questions directly related to the success of the Disarmament Conference were involved. I also explained that what we want is a reduction and not an increase in [Page 457]armaments and to get Germany back into the Conference but that we are unwilling to enter into any abstract discussion about equality. [Davis.]