550.S1/99: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Switzerland (Wilson)

99. Your 100, July 14, 5 p.m.

We feel that before we could accept participation in the organizing committee to which Drummond refers, it would be necessary to assure ourselves and make it a matter of record, that the General Monetary and Economic Conference will not consider the questions of debts and reparations, nor questions of tariff rates, (as distinguished from general policy) which we consider purely domestic issues.
These conditions I set forth last May to MacDonald when the question of an international conference first came up, and subsequently repeated to the French and Italian Ambassadors at Washington. I likewise included them in a press announcement which I issued on May 31.
We wish to do nothing that would embarrass the organizing committee or the League and accordingly feel that it would be wise for you to inform Drummond orally and in strictest confidence that it will be necessary for us to limit our acceptance of an invitation to participate in the organizing committee by asking assurances on these points. Drummond will undoubtedly be in a position to discuss this element of the situation with the chairman of the organizing [Page 818] committee who can govern his actions accordingly and thus prevent any embarrassment or misunderstanding.
It would further be important for us in view of the resolutions of Congress and of the terms of the appropriation bill for our participation to have it specifically stated in any invitation that the Conference will deal with “monetary matters, including silver”.