800.51W89 Estonia/63: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Estonia (Carlson)

2. Your 1, May 24th, 4 PM. Please communicate to the Estonian Foreign Minister the following reply to his memorandum. The Estonian Government apparently misunderstands the meaning of the agreement which it is asked to sign. It does not represent a new obligation but the method of paying an old obligation postponed as to which the Estonian Government would be in default except for the proposed agreement. Payment of a substantial sum was due December 15th last and a further sum will be due June 15th next. Postponement was proposed by the President of the United States subject to Congressional approval and was authorized by Congress only upon the conditions set forth in the Congressional [Page 599] Resolution and embodied in the draft of agreement submitted to the Estonian Consul. The Estonian Government accepted the President’s proposal unconditionally by its note of October 20 [30], 1931, to the American Legation.31

If the Estonian Government now refuses to put the terms of the postponement into legal form in accordance with the Congressional Resolution the United States Treasury will have no alternative but to demand immediate payment of the sums due in December and June and the American people will regard the failure to sign as repudiation of the Estonian Government’s agreement to the President’s proposal before it was submitted to Congress and before maturity date of December payment.

  1. Not printed; see telegram No. 48, November 4, 1931, from the Chargé in Latvia, Foreign Relations, 1931, vol. i, p. 227.