The American Delegate ( Wilson ) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 17—10:30 a.m.]
979. Repeated conversations with the British and French leave me with the following impressions: The British Cabinet taking its decision on Monday the 11th on our draft did so in full knowledge of all the factors involved and realizing to the full the inevitable effect on French opinion. Both Stanhope and Strang assure me that there is little chance at least for the present that any new factors will cause them materially to change their position.
On the other hand Aubert has gone to Paris over the week end to consult his Government in the hope that during the course of the Franco-British conversations respecting a reply to the German note40 Laval will insist upon putting this convention into effect with full inspection in order to test the efficacy of control and that he will emphasize this as an indispensable part of the “general settlement”.
Both Stanhope and Aubert have informed me separately that they urgently desire to avoid insofar as possible giving to the public the impression of a head-on collision between France and England and it is probable that the procedure in the negotiations will be influenced by this consideration.
The New York Herald Paris edition February 16th gives the impression that the result of the two meetings clearly showed the isolation of the United States as a result of resentment caused through the refusal of the Senate to ratify the World Court protocols.41 I had a distinctly contrary impression, namely, that real interest and sympathy was expressed in our project on the part of all the delegates with the exception of England and Italy. I feel the more sure that my impression is accurate in that I had somewhat feared I would find evidence of resentment at our action but no such trace has yet been visible to me even in the many private conversations with other delegates. [Page 17] I have checked this with other newspaper men and find them of my opinion.