Memorandum by the Secretary of State of a Conversation With Mr. Raymond Moley

Mr. Moley came in and asked me if I could let him have a set of copies of the various aide-mémoires which had been given to the different debtor countries, as well as the reply of the British. He also asked for a copy of the proposed note to the French and of my letter to the Governor enclosing it.24 I gave him copies of all these papers. He said he wished to look over the proposed French note and talk with the Governor over the telephone this evening about it and would again talk with me tomorrow morning. He said that the Governor had called him up and asked him to do this. We talked over the pros and cons of the French note. I told him of my talk with the Governor over the telephone and said that I was following the Governor’s suggestion that the matter be “allowed to simmer”. Mr. Moley said that the Governor was a little worried over the thing. I [Page 835]told Moley that there was no need for the Governor to be worried for we did not wish to do anything which would interfere with his future plans for the treatment of the matter with the French.

I then discussed with him French opinion as expressed in the various cables we had received from Edge, including Edge’s cable25 as to his talk with Lord Tyrrell.26 Moley said he thought French opinion was crystallizing against payment. I told him that that was the tenor of Edge’s opinion now too, although, I said, Edge had been of the opinion that it would be a mistake not to press the French or to run any risk of their thinking that we were not taking the default seriously.

Mr. Moley brought up the question of the last sentence in the British reply. He was evidently troubled by that, and he suggested that we had better answer it. I told him the reply confirmed my impression that the British were going to put up a hard fight against making any commitments on the economic or monetary subjects as a quid pro quo for the debts, and I suggested verbally the form of an answer which might be sent. Moley said he would come in in the morning and would probably bring with him a draft reply. He suggested that I draft one too to be compared with his.

H[enry] L. S[timson]
  1. Post, p. 867.
  2. Not printed.
  3. William George Tyrrell, British Ambassador in France.