500.C1199/224: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Consul at Geneva (Gilbert)

106. Your 331, September 14. The outline of the report you have transmitted seems to me highly satisfactory support for the general program on which this Government has been active and for which it has been seeking the simultaneous support of other governments. Will you kindly transmit this judgment orally to the Secretariat.

Please keep the Department fully informed as to the further handling of this report by the Council and the Assembly so that at an appropriate time we can put our views publicly before either one or both of these bodies.

The New York Times carries today a summary of parts of the report indicating that it has been released. This summary, however, [Page 458] does not at all deal with the Committee’s discussion of the most-favored-nation principle. I regret this greatly as it is the one phase of the subject least understood in this country and still believed by many to be a purely American principle. It would be most useful if another story was written by Streit13 from Geneva setting forth that aspect of the most-favored-nation policy which the Committee’s report appears to have featured, to wit, that this clause has in no sense ceased to exist but continues to be the principal rule governing the commercial relations in many countries, and that as soon as there is greater negotiability of currencies and trade, nations will not submit to discriminations (your lettered points A and D). Will you, without indicating that you are acting under instructions, discreetly talk with Streit and possibly other American newspaper correspondents in Geneva and see whether there is a further story in this feature of the report because of the great American interest in it.14

  1. Clarence K. Streit, press correspondent for the New York Times, member of the International Association of Journalists accredited to the League of Nations.
  2. On September 16 the Consul informed the Department that he was arranging to provide press correspondents with suitable material for use on the date of official release of the report of the Committee (500.C1199/225).