868.51/1265: Telegram

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

275. Your 281, October 3rd, 5 P.M. Please see the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and advise him that the United States Treasury does not understand the attitude of the British Government as reported by you. Attention is directed again to the provisions of the Agreement of May 10, 1929, as quoted in Department’s 253 September 30th, 1 P.M. Also to the following provision:

“Greece has given its irrevocable mandate to the International Financial Commission and has taken all other necessary and proper steps to assign and charge as security for the service of this new loan by the United States all the above mentioned revenues, and the International Financial Commission has irrevocably undertaken to deal with such revenues and all other revenues, if any, which may at any time be pledged as security for this new loan by the United States.”

Also to a letter No. 120, dated January 25, 1928,28 signed by the President of the International Financial Commission, which provides:

“The International Financial Commission duly authorized by the powers which it represents accepts an irrevocable mandate to intervene on the basis of the conditions of the protocol signed at Geneva on September 15, 1927,29 in the service of the loan advanced by the Government of the United States of America.”

The British, French and Italian Governments authorized the International Financial Commission to undertake the obligations implied for it in the protocol of 1927 by a declaration in which it is provided that

“Representatives of the Governments of France, Great Britain and Italy duly authorized by their respective Governments hereby agree that the International Financial Commission …30 shall discharge the duties which the said protocol contemplates shall be performed by it, and they undertake on behalf of their respective [Page 411] governments that the necessary instructions will be given by these Governments to their representatives upon the said International Financial Commission”.

Therefore, it would seem to be clear that the British Government has definite responsibilities in the matter and the Treasury finds it hard to believe that the British Government will instruct its representative to carry into effect any understanding between bondholders’ representatives and the Greek Government which either technically or in substance would prejudice the rights of the United States and especially the equality of treatment to which it is entitled by the Agreement of May 10, 1929, and the obligations assumed by the International Committee.

Please request that the British Government give the matter further careful consideration in view of the coming November 10th payment due from Greece to the United States with respect to which there is no provision in the Agreement for postponement.

The Department is requesting the Embassy at Paris to repeat to you its 608 of October 20, 3 P.M. regarding instructions the French Government intends to issue to its representative on the International Financial Commission.

For your information. Payment due July 1, 1932, was postponed by Greece exercising its option under Part I of the Debt Agreement (See page 310, Report of Secretary of the Treasury for 1929). Part 2 of the Agreement contains no postponement option.

Repeat to Embassies at Paris and Rome. Also repeat your No. 281, October 3rd, 5 P.M. to Paris and Rome.

  1. Not found in Department files.
  2. League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. lxx, p. 9.
  3. Omission indicated in the original.