640.0031 Danube/68: Telegram

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

137. The Danube Conference ended this afternoon. Sir John Simon informed me that he felt the free exchange of views of the four powers around the conference table had been useful although no agreement had been reached. Bülow strongly emphasized the German viewpoint that if Czechoslovakia was included in a Danube Customs Union or preferential tariff agreement it would mean the exclusion of Germany from a market to which now she exported about one tenth of her manufactured products. Italy agreed on much the same lines pointing out the loss of her market in Yugoslavia for the probable benefit of Austria.

In conclusion each country agreed to address to the other three as soon as possible a considered statement of their views on the points reserved and mode of further advance. Sir John felt that these three official statements would each demonstrate a need for urgent action and further discussion between the four powers would result. Simon said the English might have put forward similar selfish views to those expected by Italy and Germany but instead was willing to accept any feasible solution for the benefit of the Danube countries and increased stabilization in Central Europe. His remarks appeared to further confirm British policy as reported in Embassy’s 119 March 24, 1 p.m.7

Sir John stated the date for the Lausanne Conference8 has been fixed for June 16th owing to French insistence that they could not accept an earlier date.

It is reported here Paris considers failure of conference as a rebuff, however, not unexpected due to London’s convening the meeting just before German elections.

  1. Not printed.
  2. For correspondence pertaining to the Lausanne Conference, see pp. 636 ff.