740.0011 Mutual Guarantee (Eastern Locarno)/116

The Chargé in Estonia (Carlson) to the Secretary of State

No. 313 (Diplomatic)

Sir: I have the honor to submit herewith a few statements concerning démarches made at Paris on March 9, 1935, and at London on March 13, 1935, by the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian diplomatic representative at the above capitals having for their object the expression of the interest of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in the political conversations now being carried on between England and France, and in particular in those parts thereof in which mention has been made of the proposed pact of Eastern Europe.

In a conversation which the writer had on March 12, 1935, with Mr. H. Laretei, the Assistant Estonian Minister for Foreign Affairs, it was learned that, as far as Estonia was concerned, its Ministers at London and at Paris had been instructed to bring the following two viewpoints to the attention of the British and of the French Governments.

In the first place, inasmuch as in the French-British conversations at London on February 3, 1935, mention was made of the so-called Pact of Eastern Europe, Estonia wished to go on record as being in favor of a pact of this kind; at the same time it hoped that the Pact of the East would be made a part of the European system of peace pacts which was now under consideration. It also wished to point out that in case the creation of a system of peace pacts in Western Europe was not accompanied by the formation of a similar arrangement in Eastern Europe, the resulting atmosphere and situation in Eastern Europe would be far from satisfactory. For this reason Estonia hoped that, at the time when the general question of peace pacts came up for discussion, the proposed Eastern Pact would be given due consideration.

In the second place, Estonia had at the above time given expression to its desire to be included in whatever discussions might take place on the subject of an Eastern Pact. If concrete proposals were [Page 199] brought up for consideration Estonia hoped that it would be given an opportunity to express its views and opinions with regard thereto.

The foregoing matters constituted, according to Mr. Laretei, the sole contents of the statements which the Estonian Ministers at London and at Paris had been instructed to communicate to the British and to the French Governments. In the statements no mention had been made of the form of Eastern Pact which the Estonian Government might be disposed to accept. Mr. Laretei called attention to the several proposals which had been made on this subject. There was, on the one hand, the French-Russian draft which was based on the idea of mutual military assistance. He mentioned, in the second place, the system of bi-lateral agreements between Germany and each of the countries in Eastern Europe which had been proposed. Mr. Laretei added that Estonia had not yet made up its mind on this subject and that it would probably not take any action until the matter was actually brought up for consideration. Although the question had not been discussed either by the Estonian Government, or by the Foreign Office at Tallinn, it had, nevertheless, become apparent that the mutual military assistance idea did not appeal to Estonia.

Mr. Laretei, in expressing his own personal opinion, said that, if the system of bi-lateral pacts with Germany could be included in the general peace pact system, in such a way that the existence of such pacts could be guaranteed by the countries participating in a European peace pact system, Estonia might possibly decide that bi-lateral pacts with Germany were to be preferred to the pacts in which provision was made for mutual military assistance.

According to Mr. Laretei, the above-mentioned Baltic démarches in Paris and London were made in the spirit of the Pact of Collaboration and Friendship which was entered into between Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania at Geneva on September 12, 1934.51 In Paris the démarche had been made orally by each of the Ministers of the above countries after a meeting had been held between them for the purpose of deciding upon the general form to be given to their representations and upon the date on which they were to be made. It seems, however, that the representations thus made were given an interpretation by the “Havas” news agency which Estonia had tried to avoid. The reports issued by the above agency are said to have intimated that the Baltic States were particularly interested in the mutual military assistance provision of the Eastern Pact as proposed by France and Germany. This did not, however, correspond to the facts.

In order to prevent this same situation from arising in London, the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian Ministers in that capital agreed in advance upon the actual text of the démarche which they had been [Page 200] instructed to make; this text was subsequently presented in writing to the British Foreign Office by each of the above Ministers.

The Foreign Office at Tallinn states that the accounts of these representations as published by the Reuter News Agency are substantially correct.

Respectfully yours,

Harry E. Carlson
  1. League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. cliv, p. 93.