851.5151/1740

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Adviser on International Economic Affairs (Feis)

The Secretary of the Treasury asked me to be present in his Office this morning during a telephone conversation with Cochran.

His call was occasioned by the fact that last week the French Government gave word that it would like to arrange for consultation regarding possibly necessary reformulation of the Tripartite Monetary Agreement. Cochran and Butterworth had met with Phillips of the British Treasury in Paris on Monday. Cochran has had conversations with Monick, the French Financial Attaché in Paris, and with Marchandeau, the French Finance Minister. Despite these conversations, it is distinctly unclear what type of reformulation the French Government has in mind.

The Secretary of the Treasury so informed Cochran, and then stated that he might inform the French Minister of Finance that we were ready to consult at any time.

At the same time Cochran was told to let the French Government know that this envisaged only confidential, technical conversations, not to be held as any significant intergovernmental discussions. Cochran stated he understood.

While it was probable that the ideas of the French Treasury are still running towards the possibility of getting assistance in maintaining [Page 268]the franc rate while continuing the execution of their current policies, my guess is that the French will almost necessarily turn the conversations around to what type of exchange control might be compatible with the Tripartite Monetary Arrangement.

H[erbert] F[eis]