811.113 Senate Investigation/247

Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State (Phillips)

I informed Mr. Coolidge, Under Secretary of the Treasury, of the result of the conference at the White House this morning between the President and the Secretary of State on the one hand and Senators Nye, Pope and Clark on the other hand. I said that the President and the Secretary had presented the argument as strongly as possible in an effort to dissuade the Nye Committee from its desire to examine [Page 371] certain correspondence between the Allied countries and certain banks in this country during the war, which is now among the records of these banks. I said that the Secretary had urged that the investigation of these documents at least be deferred if the Committee could not see its way to alter its view with regard to their examination; that Senator Nye, however, maintained his former position and had advised the Secretary that he could assure the British and French Ambassadors that the documents would be held in confidence and that there would be no publicity in regard to them until at least the Department had had an opportunity to take up the matter with the British and French Governments.

Mr. Coolidge said that he had hoped for more favorable results from this meeting, but, in the circumstances, he supposed there was nothing to do, but to comply with the request of the Nye Committee for the documents held by the Federal Reserve Bank. I replied that this seemed to be the only course for him to pursue, but that, in releasing them, I suggested that he refer to his understanding that they were sent forward in the strictest confidence and would not be made public without an opportunity for his Department to consider the question further. Mr. Coolidge said that he would take this course.

William Phillips