811.113 Senate Investigation/233

Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Western European Affairs (Moffat)8

Mr. Roger Gaucheron, First Secretary of the French Embassy, called this afternoon on Mr. Moffat and Mr. Green with relation to the recent subpoena of the Nye Committee to the Central Hanover Trust Company to produce papers connected with the collateral placed by the French Government in making a loan on April 1, 1917. From the point of view of the French Government, as communicated to him by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, these papers are State papers and as such are not properly available to the Committee. Mr. Gaucheron explained that in various investigations held in France papers involving foreign governments would not be made available.

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I inquired whether Mr. Gaucheron was merely reserving a question of principle or whether he was actually entering a formal objection. He replied that for the moment at least he would content himself with the former but that when his Ambassador returned to Washington in the course of the next day or two he would take up the matter and if Mr. de Laboulaye wished to go further he would communicate with you in writing. Mr. Moffat and Mr. Green explained the arrangement that the State Department had made with the Nye Committee whereby the latter before publishing any of the documents would communicate with us further. Mr. Gaucheron indicated that in his Government’s view the communication of the documents and their publication were inseparably intertwined. The conversation ended with an indication on the part of Mr. Moffat and Mr. Green that the Committee intended to do all in its power to avoid any embarrassment to foreign countries.

Pierrepont Moffat
  1. Addressed to the Secretary of State and Assistant Secretary of State R. Walton Moore.