The Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Bingham ) to the Secretary of State

No. 2185

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my No. 254, May 7, 4 p.m., reporting the debate in the House of Commons which was “mostly concerned with disputing the responsibility for the Abyssinian tragedy”, and the press reaction thereto. Concurrently there has appeared in the columns of the Times a series of letters dealing with the causes and results of the failure of the League of Nations in relation to the future of that institution. The enclosed letters of Lord Lothian and Lord Charnwood, which were published on May 5 and 6, respectively,36 are of interest in that connection. Lord Lothian’s statement that:

“We have got into our present position because we never thought out the implications of Articles 10 and 16 of the Covenant as did the Senate of the United States”

and Lord Charnwood’s assertion that:

“The United States (which, by the way, had plainly advertized to the world, in the Congressional elections of 1918, that President Wilson could not be assumed to represent them) is the one country in which, from the time of Wilson’s Fourteen Points onward, public men have earnestly and carefully discussed on what lines a League of Nations could work; the result was a remarkable conversion, on the part of statesmen, who had themselves been inclined to advocate a League to enforce peace, to the opposite view—namely, that such a project involved unforeseen future entanglements which their country must in honour avoid.”

are also of interest and incidentally probably constitute the only laudatory references to the United States Senate to appear in the columns of the Times in the past decade.

Respectfully yours,

For the Ambassador:
Ray Atherton
  1. Neither reprinted.