891.01A/174: Telegram

The Minister in Iran (Dreyfus) to the Secretary of State

191. Prime Minister told me yesterday “Government Majlis and people enthusiastic about United States advisers and are anxious to have them arrive”. He has cabled Minister in Washington asking details about engaging Schwarzkopf in order to draw up contract but has had no reply. He is particularly anxious to have a financial commission which should be headed by a man of highest caliber such as Millspaugh. He said Millspaugh who is being mentioned here might if available be considered but added his powers would be less than on previous visit14 because of present democratic form of government. Whoever is selected should use great care in selection of subordinates since there was considerable criticism of Millspaugh’s [Page 239] assistants. Prime Minister also wants food and commodity expert who should arrive soon if to be of any value.

Reference Department’s instruction 93, May 5,15 Shaffer16 whom I met in Kabul and consider fine young man is not at all suitable for boy scout position because of youth and inexperience. This is splendid opportunity for us to assist Iran in moulding character of its youth and to perform service of lasting benefit. Scout leader should be man of wide experience who could mould character and inspire with his leadership.

Prime Minister volunteered interesting information he would like to have industrial and mining enterprises of Iran thus far in Government’s hands to be reorganized, financed and operated by American interests. In answer to my inquiry if this might include mining and petroleum concessions he answered it would. He added that he also desires have Americans finance and construct additional railways. He explained that ex-Shah had over-expanded country’s industrial plant and that present generation has not knowledge nor the Government the money in its regular budget to operate it successfully.

Government, people and press are clamoring for American advisers and our prestige has reached a peak.

However, Prime Minister and some others express disappointment we have been so slow in responding to their call particularly in matter of Monroe Mission. I recommend since we have so frequently expressed our desire to assist Iran that we endeavor to choose men of highest caliber and expedite their departure. Otherwise there is danger Iranian enthusiasm for United States may be converted to disillusionment with consequent decline in our prestige.

  1. For correspondence regarding the mission headed by Arthur C. Millspaugh to assist in the administration of the finances of Persia, 1922–1927, see Foreign Relations, 1927, vol. iii, pp. 523 ff. For Dr. Millspaugh’s own account of the earlier mission and the one contemplated, see his book, Americans in Persia (Washington, 1946).
  2. Not printed.
  3. John Richard Shaffer, American teacher at Habibia College, Kabul, Afghanistan.