868.51/1284: Telegram

The Chargé in France (Marriner) to the Secretary of State

657. Upon receipt of Department telegram 401 of November 12, noon, I made appropriate representations to the French Foreign Office in the sense of the Department’s telegram to London number 281 of November 11, 6 p.m.

The French Ministry of Finance has confirmed its views previously expressed with respect to this question (see the Embassy’s telegram number 608 of October 20, 3 p.m.) and repeats that its instructions to its representative on the Financial Commission at Athens will effectively prove that the United States will receive in fact both with respect to payment and transfer treatment on the November 10th payment now in default not less favorable in any respect than that contemplated by the September arrangements as concerns the British and French holders. Finance Ministry in fact recognizes that only on such a basis could the Financial Commission at Athens give effect to the September arrangements in question. In other words it is recognized here trusteeship of the commission does not permit of discrimination.

I have been assured by the French Foreign Office that these views will be expressed in writing.

The competent official of the Ministry of Finance understands that the Greek Government will make every possible effort to avoid making payment on its obligation to the United States. As it is recognized that under these circumstances the September arrangements cannot be carried out the French Government is particularly anxious that the Greeks cease opposition to the payment in question. This official frankly agrees that the Greek position is untenable. I am assured that the views of the French Government in this connection have been clearly put forward in London and that it expects the British Government to accept the French viewpoint.

Repeated to London and Rome.