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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1937. General

Meeting of the bureau of the conference for the reduction and limitation of armaments, Geneva, May 31, 1937,   pp. 1-23 PDF (8.3 MB)

Page 2

the satisfied states and the Spanish affair 4 while still dangerous shows
a certain European political accord. The reception given throughout
the Continent to Van Zeeland's5 explorations in the economy field is
encouraging. Germany's last note to Eden,6 which I have read in the
German Legation here, shows a marked advance in that Germany
no longer insists on the abrogation of the Russo-French Pact7 but
only the elimination of the automatic feature. Thus I have the im-
pression that the evolution in Western and Central Europe is slowly
reaching a point where pacification between the great states may be
  In looking over the course of events since the Locarno treaties 8 I am
struck with the fact that repeated attempts to bring Germany more
closely into European cooperation failed largely because the negotia-
tions were initiated without the presence and collaboration of Ger-
many. I feel strongly that any attempt to build a plan for restriction
of armaments in Germany's absence is doomed to failure. I feel that
even a plan to bring about economic betterment in Europe without
consultation with Germany is doomed to at least partial failure. The
tide of Europe depends in the final analysis upon the state of mind of
a dozen men in Berlin and I fear cannot be accomplished until those
men are willing to sacrifice some of the so-called advantages of au-
tarchy for the real advantages of international collaboration.
  The French urged on the Assembly a meeting of the Bureau of the
Disarmament Conference. In repeated and thoroughgoing talks with
Vienot 9 and Massigli,10 I failed to find any positive idea behind this
step and indeed received the impression that Blum's 11 demrarche had
been made purely in fulfillment of election pledges and to satisfy one
section of his voters. Equally I can find no positive attitude among
the British in respect to the Bureau. Agreement between the British
and French on the traffic in arms problem is, as far as I am aware, as
remote as it was 2 years ago. Agreement on publicity of national
expenditure might be possible between them. It would, incidentally,
be embarrassing to us because of the Army's attitude.
  ' Seee pp. 215 if.
  'Paul van Zeeland, Belgian Prime Minister.
  'Anthony Eden, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and delegate
to the League of Nations Assembly.
  ' Mutual military assistance agreement, signed May 2, 1935; League of Nations
Treaty Series, vol. crxvn, p. 395.
  8 The several treaties signed on October 16, 1925, at Locarno, between
France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom; see League of Nations Treaty
Series, vol. LIV, pp. 289-363.
' Pierre Vienot, French auxiliary Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs,
and deputy delegate to the League of Nations Assembly.
  10 Rend Massigli, Assistant Director of Political and Commercial Affairs,
Ministry for Foreign Affairs; and assistant deputy delegate to the League
Nations Assembly.
  " Leon Blum, President of French Council of Ministers.

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