The Ambassador in Great Britain ( Davis ) to the Secretary of State

No. 1330

Sir: With reference to the Department’s telegram No. 5844 of August 20, 4 p.m., and my telegram No. 3039 of September 13, 2 p.m., [Page 712] regarding the Anglo–Persian Agreement, I have the honor to transmit herewith enclosed, for the information of the Department a copy of an informal communication I have received from Earl Curzon on the subject of his interview with Colonel House.

I have [etc.]

For the Ambassador,
J. Butler Wright

The British Acting Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs ( Curzon ) to the American Ambassador ( Davis )

My Dear Ambassador: I am away in the country and can therefore only return the briefest reply to your letter of September 12 on the subject of the Anglo–Persian Agreement. I shall be quite ready to discuss this with you at any time, and I only write the present line in order to clear up the point about my meeting with Colonel House at Paris.

It was with the knowledge and on the advice of Mr. Balfour with whom I had discussed the matter that being unable, during my brief stay in Paris, to find the President disengaged, I called upon Colonel House for the precise object mentioned in my last letter. The only reason for which I could mention to him the case of the Persian Delegation, and my sole ground for preferring that the question of Persia, which the Conference had for 6 months shown no inclination to touch, should not be settled there, was, as I told him, that on behalf of the British Government I was negotiating an Agreement with the Persian Government myself. On no other ground could I have had any right to mention the matter at all or to ask that President Wilson should be informed. On my return from seeing Colonel House I at once reported what had passed to Mr. Balfour, and upon Colonel House informing me later that he had passed on what I said to the President, I assumed and have ever since proceeded upon the assumption that the American Govt. was at least aware of the general intention of H.M.G.

I am [etc.]

Curzon of Kedleston