500.C1112/35: Telegram

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

382. 1. I today solicited Avenol’s33 views as to the course economic questions might take in Geneva. I particularly inquired respecting [Page 466] his knowledge of any French project. He replied that he had heard the same rumors as the rest of us, that Blum34 himself might attend the Second Committee but that he would know nothing definite until his arrival. In telling me, however, that the economic discussions in the Second Committee would now not begin before Saturday, I gained the impression that the deferment was in part to afford Blum opportunity for prior conversations here.

2. He then said that it was his impression that Washington favored some kind of an international economic conference. I told him that a number of ministers during the last few weeks had said the same to me but that it was something about which I knew absolutely nothing. He referred to the passage in the Economic Committee’s report concerning a conference of great powers and told me that he had also learned of the possibility of the Locarno Powers35 taking up the economic issues. He stated that he did not feel this to be the best type of procedure, particularly in that the recent stabilization developments had created the possibility of a new approach. He felt it would be better for the states when they regulated their currencies to normalize commercial relations between themselves as quickly as possible and simultaneously to make it unmistakably clear that all other states were invited to join in similar common endeavors.

  1. Joseph Avenol, Secretary General of the League of Nations.
  2. Léon Blum, President of the French Council of Ministers.
  3. Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom, signatories of the Locarno treaties, October 16, 1925; for texts of treaties, see League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. liv, pp. 289–363.