The Ambassador in Great Britain ( Davis ) to the Secretary of State
[Received 8.41 p.m.]
3098. Your number 5970.12 Before renewing discussion matter with Foreign Office would like to have if possible further information touching our attitude.
Have no answer to my number 3039.13 Since our despatch have letter from Curzon copy of which is en route to you by mail, insisting that his interview with House was on Balfour’s advice and for sole purpose of communicating the exchange of ratifications he was negotiating with Persia. Upon this House observes that he has no reason to doubt Curzon’s memory but there was no discussion [of] details, and conversation was so casual as to leave no impression as to what agreement was to be. This phase of matter perhaps unimportant except as showing Curzon’s desire to escape from charge of secrecy.
Supplementing my number 307714 reporting Curzon’s speech, the text of which is also en route, Curzon went on to declare that there was no claim of right to revise existing customs treaties with third powers or to create a monopoly or claim exclusive rights in development of country. He denied application of any pressure upon Persia in negotiations and promised support to Persian delegates should they wish to raise before Paris Conference claims to reparation by belligerents for ratification [violation?] of frontiers.
It is of course impossible to challenge the sincerity of these professions which must be proved by the evidence. Assuming sincerity do they meet our objection to treaty. Do our objections go to substance of treaty or to time and manner of its negotiation. The [Page 714] treaty being an accomplished fact is our attitude one of active protest or mere refusal to take any steps signifying approval. In either case it seems essential that I be informed what instructions have been issued to Teheran on the subject.