800.51W89 France/995: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Straus) to the Secretary of State

434. At Cabinet council meeting this morning the Council of Ministers decided to maintain the position created by the decision of the Chamber in December 193229 with regard to war debts. A note to this effect29a will be sent to Washington forthwith.

In order to satisfy Herriot, who threatened to insist upon publication of a minority report, a Council communiqué was issued which referred to him by name stating also “that Herriot remained faithful to the ideas which he had constantly defended to reach a settlement of the difficulties which had arisen between the two countries”. The Cabinet debate according to reliable reports was lengthy and acrimonious. Herriot insisted strongly upon some form of payment and was supported by a strong section of the Cabinet which included Sarraut, Interior; Queuille, Agriculture; Marquette, Labor; Germain Martin, Finance; Piétri, Navy; Bertrand, Merchant Marine; and Berthod, National Education.

Laval30 then embarked upon a lengthy statement which was an attempt at self justification referring to his connection with the Hoover moratorium.30a The final decision was reached without a vote being taken. Tardieu31 took no part in the discussion.

  1. See telegrams Nos. 714 and 717, December 13 and 14, 1932, from the Ambassador in France, Foreign Relations, 1932, vol. i, pp. 743 and 744.
  2. Department of State, Press Releases, June 16, 1934, p. 398.
  3. Pierre Laval, French Minister of Colonies.
  4. See Foreign Relations, 1931, vol. i, pp. 3335.
  5. André Tardieu, Minister of State without Portfolio.