550.S1/15: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain (Mellon)

159. In view of press reports from London that we broached to London the idea of a conference to stabilize world commodity prices, I think you should suggest that Sir John Simon immediately get in touch with the French and Italians so that they may understand that the British were merely asking us whether, if it is decided to hold such a conference, we might participate. You will realize how important it is that the French particularly should not feel that we are planning anything behind their backs.

In view of these reports from London, I have given the following statement to the press:

“The suggestion that there should be called an international conference for the purpose of considering methods to stabilize world commodity prices first came to the attention of this Government by an inquiry of the British Ambassador in Washington as to whether we should be interested and would participate in such conference. [Page 813] The suggestion was that it should be called by the British Government in London. After due consideration, this Government has replied, through Mr. Mellon, that it felt that the early convocation of such a conference might be of real value in the present depression. As was stated in the press messages from London, the proposed conference would have nothing to do with war debts, reparations, disarmament, or any other than purely economic subjects. It is our understanding that the British Government is also approaching on the same subject France, Italy and the other powers.”