710.G Commercial Agreement/29: Telegram

The Consul at Geneva (Gilbert) to the Secretary of State

256. Department’s 93, September 19, 5 p.m.

I learn that the Belgian representative here is continuing his efforts to call the Pan American Agreement to the favorable attention of League governments during the Assembly. He finds himself, however, greatly handicapped in obtaining support due to present ignorance of European governments regarding the question. This he states is due to the circumstance that officials in the European Foreign Offices knowing little of the character of the Pan American Union gave little attention to the invitation many assuming the Union to be an unofficial organization. The Belgian representative here believed that the invitation would be sent through United States diplomatic channels and it required two telephone calls to Brussels before the document could be located.
The Belgian Government is nevertheless intensely interested in pursuing the matter, intends to sign the convention and further is considering immediately calling attention to it through diplomatic channels in all European capitals (please regard the foregoing as confidential).
The circumstance that Latin American states here are not showing the interest which might be expected of them is something of an obstacle. Steps are being taken here to correct this situation but Latin American representatives in Geneva do not maintain close contact with their governments and the view is expressed that for the United States to take action if possible in Latin America paralleling possible Belgian action in Europe would be opportune.
The attitude of certain European states in so far as I can ascertain it here is: France favorable; Italy while favoring bilateral action would not oppose; Switzerland while expressing openly in the Second Committee that past experience indicates the difficulty of accomplishing anything along the lines of the Agreement is favorable; the Netherlands is willing to support the Belgian position but I do not know of any definite steps being contemplated. The Assembly will probably close the coming week.
6 [5?].
It would be very helpful to me to be advised definitely of United States signature of Agreement.