741.5111 European Co-operation/11

The British Embassy to the Department of State


In the declaration which forms part of the Final Act of the Lausanne conference39 the signatory powers express how the task there accomplished will be followed by fresh achievements. They affirm further that success will be more readily won if the nations will rally to a new effort in the cause of peace, which can only be complete if it is applied in both the economic and political spheres. In the same document the signatory powers declare their intention to make every effort to resolve the problems which exist at the present moment or may arise subsequently in the spirit which has inspired the Lausanne agreement. In that spirit His Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom and the French Government decided themselves to give the lead in making an immediate mutual contribution to that end on the following lines:

  • First, in accordance with the spirit of the Covenant of the League of Nations they intend to exchange views with one another with complete candour concerning, and to keep each other mutually informed of, any questions coming to their notice similar in origin to that now so happily settled at Lausanne which may affect the European régime. It is their hope that other governments will join them in adopting their procedure.
  • Secondly, they intend to work together and with the other delegations at Geneva to find a solution for the disarmament question which will be beneficial and equitable for all the powers concerned.
  • Thirdly, they will cooperate with each other and other interested governments in careful and practical preparation of the world economic conference.40
  • Fourthly, pending negotiation at a later date of a new commercial treaty between their two countries, they will avoid any action in the nature of discrimination by one country against the interests of the other.

The French and British Governments are bringing this declaration to the notice of the Governments of Germany, Italy and Belgium and are inviting them to adhere to paragraphs 1, 2 and 3.

The purpose of the declaration is to promote European appeasement by urging the principal countries of Europe to adopt the method of candid and open discussion if questions arise between [Page 695] them under existing treaties. This effort aims at removing suspicion and encouraging general confidence, and it is strongly felt that it will excite the sympathy of the United States Government.

Sir R. Lindsay is instructed to make it plain to the Secretary of State that the object of the declaration is as above stated, and that the announcement is as to the spirit in which European nations should seek to improve their mutual relations and remove causes of friction.

With respect to the paragraph dealing with disarmament attention is called to the language used yesterday in the House of Commons by Sir J. Simon, in the following terms:—

“This is of course in no sense and at no point a special or exclusive declaration. We have already announced our own intention of cooperation with the United States in the work of disarmament at Geneva.41 I am going back there now to help in working out the principles of Mr. Hoover’s proposals.”

Sir John Simon has received M. Herriot’s express confirmation in saying that we are not seeking any exclusive or special relation, but a better method for us all.

  1. Great Britain, Cmd. 4126, Misc. No. 7 (1932): Final Act of the Lausanne Conference, Lausanne, July 9, 1932.
  2. For correspondence regarding the preliminaries to the International Monetary and Economic Conference, see pp. 808 ff.
  3. For correspondence relating to this phase of the General Disarmament Conference, see pp. 225 ff.