765.84/1686: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Switzerland ( Wilson )47

188. Your 325, October 9, 11 a.m. and Gilbert’s 448, October 8, 4 p.m. and press reports emanating from Geneva and other sources indicate that it is intended by the League to invite the non-member States to join in the discussion of the question of sanctions. Of course others would be in a better position than we to know the willingness or unwillingness of other nonmember States to join in such discussions. For our own part it should be increasingly clear that we have brought to bear all the support and influence we could to preserve peace; that our position now is that of determination not to be involved in war; that in carrying out this policy we will not be unmindful of nor overlook any measures that we may be able to take consistent with our policy. In view of our position as shown by our utterances and acts up to the present, fully supported by the public sentiment of this country, we consider that it would be advisable from every standpoint for the League to realize that we have already taken definite steps in line with our own policies and limitations, which include long steps in restricting financial and trade relations with the belligerents, and that we are disposed to pursue our course independently in the light of circumstances as they develop. These steps should be an indication of our course and attitude. From this point of view, it would seem unnecessary and certainly at the present stage inadvisable from our point of view to ask us to participate in such committee as may be set up to deal with sanctions.

We feel that it would be useful for you to convey the sense of the above orally and very discreetly to the Secretary General and any of the delegations in Geneva whom you consider it wise to inform. We are repeating this telegram to Paris and London for their discreet use in informing the respective Foreign Offices.

  1. This telegram quoted to the Chargé in France as No. 411, October 9, 9 p.m., with instructions to repeat to London as Department’s No. 293.