500.C1112/80: Telegram (part air)

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

480. 1. In line with the Assembly resolution of October 1046 (Consulate’s despatch No. 1924, political, November 447) the Council at its session convening January 18 must come to a decision where [whether] it will now constitute a committee on raw materials.

2. I am informed that if it be decided to constitute such a committee the Council would immediately thereafter designate the members.

In discussing this with Stoppani he stated that should the United States be invited and should it be prepared to accept, and should Washington in such a case entertain desires respecting the American [Page 478] who might best serve, it would be necessary in order to fulfill these desires that they be informally communicated to him a reasonable time in advance of the Council session. As indicated in the resolution in the case of the United States there are three avenues for membership.

3. Stoppani informs me that if the committee be set up it is a [settled] matter that American, Japanese and German membership is desired. The Japanese have already indicated informally that they are prepared to participate. I may add that the Japanese Consul General in a recent conversation volunteered the same information to me. As Italy is a member of the Council an Italian will be invited, whether he would attend or not is another matter.

The crux of the entire question is the position of Germany. Should Germany be unwilling to participate the British do not wish a committee set up. The British position is seen as a political one associated in particular with the German demand for colonies. The French, on the other hand, favor the constitution of a committee with or without Germany and advocate that an effort be made to prosecute an objective study of the raw materials problem.

4. Stoppani says it would be helpful could he be informally advised respecting Washington’s attitude regarding possible participation and if it favorable invites special attention to the question of membership mentioned in paragraph 2 above.

5. Stoppani stated that the Secretariat and he believed the majority of League states would be resistive to considerations which may be advanced that in order to accommodate Germany a committee for this purpose be established independent of the League.

  1. League of Nations, Official Journal, Special Supplement No. 155, p. 141.
  2. Not printed.