The Acting Secretary of State to the Secretary of State in London
145. Your 138, July 15, 9 p.m. Radio from Fuller not yet received.
This is first knowledge the Department has had of the creation of this committee. Department has been informed intermittently during the past 2 years with regard to the cooperation mentioned, but the American Government has not previously been asked in any way to participate. In view of the short notice given and of the fact that the committee under reference would appear to be meeting for the purpose of taking an advanced and somewhat definitive step with regard to matters which have been developed considerably by the League during the past 2 years, the Department is inclined to believe that the stamp of our approval is being sought for a program already developed without our having been consulted. It may be that the program is such that we could advisedly give it our approval and [Page 500]undertake to make to it our contribution. But it may be otherwise. Department feels that we should avoid becoming definitely or conspicuously involved or committed before knowing what is the set-up. We therefore suggest that arrangement be made to have an officer of the staff of the Paris Embassy, upon informal invitation, if that prove satisfactory to Avenol, attend this meeting in the capacity of an unofficial observer. Later, after he has reported and the League shall have asked for definite collaboration by the United States in the carrying out of the program upon which the League has embarked for collaboration with China, and in the light of more complete knowledge of the character and contents of that program, this Government could decide whether or not it is in position to collaborate. Incidentally, the Department favors in principle the idea of such collaboration and is inclined to believe that a satisfactory program for such collaboration, well carried out, would give greater promise on the side of constructive effort by the powers toward diminishing causes of conflict in the Far East than has appeared in connection with any other of the many possibilities canvassed in that connection in recent years.