The Consul at Geneva (Gilbert) to the Secretary of State
[Received October 8—2:30 p.m.]
448. Consulate’s 428, October 5, 9 p.m.43 In respect of the question of inviting non-member states to collaborate in some manner with the contemplated Assembly “coordination” or “sanctions” Committee the only non-member states which I have heard named in this connection are the United States, Brazil, Germany (in effect a non-member) and Japan.
In a conversation with the Brazilian representative here he stated that he had received no intimations whatsoever as [to] the position Rio de Janeiro might take in this respect but added that he assumed that they would at least wish first to ascertain the position of Washington.
In a conversation with Yokoyama he tells me that naturally he had been endeavoring to learn what he could here regarding this project. He added that in his inquiries it had been stated to him that the acceptance of the United States was regarded as possible, that of Germany and Japan as improbable and that of Brazil as uncertain. He said that all he knew was that the project appeared to have originated in the Secretariat and that it had been discussed in some manner between the British and the French delegations, with what results he did [Page 839] not know. He told me that in his opinion Japan would not accept such an invitation. He then confidentially informed me that the Japanese Ambassador at Berlin had sounded out the Wilhelmstrasse on this question and that he had been told that Germany would decline such an invitation.
The German Consul here stated to me that he understood that Berlin would not accept an invitation of that character and told me further in confidence that Berlin had informed him by telephone this morning that their general attitude was that these were “League” sanctions, that Germany on the eve of her withdrawal could not participate in their formulation but that after the League had taken action they would consider the situation thus created.
I may comment that in view of the foregoing, which must presumably be known to the British and the French and to other European chancelleries, I am somewhat surprised that the idea of including Japan and Germany in such an invitation still continues. While not wishing in any way to impute motives in any quarters, I can say at least that the application of sanctions in any universal sense is regarded as something very difficult of achievement and that certain powers definitely do not desire that sanctions be applied against Italy or perhaps one might say that they do not wish to be placed in the position of taking definite action on such an issue. If this be the situation naturally a refusal on the part of the United States as well as that of other non-member states could I think be used as an excuse why sanctions could not be applied with the obvious result that should this excuse be employed a certain amount of onus would rest, among others, on ourselves. I beg to recall in this connection a press statement of Hoare’s of fairly recent date to the effect that sanctions could not be carried out without the cooperation of the United States and Germany.
- Not printed.↩