The Ambassador in France ( Wallace ) to the Secretary of State
[Received May 8—5:55 p.m.]
1118. B–73 for Davis.
1st. With reference to our B–72 of May 7. The features at issue there as well as questions of documents of title, claims against ships seized or detained, and the matter of distribution of ex-enemy tonnage generally, all point to the desirability of an early decision as to what we can or will do with the Wilson–Lloyd George Agreement. The entire matter of handling ex-German tonnage would be much clarified with acceptance of this agreement by all parties or if we can not accept because of the refusal of Congress to appropriate funds to cover excess tonnage or for any other reason and can take a definite stand as to our claim on the seized ships the business can then, at least, go forward with the French acceptance of agreement now settled. It is probable that Italy and the others will fall in line shortly. This will leave matter held up for some time awaiting our-action. Suggest for your consideration advisability of putting this matter before Congress immediately with a view to consummation of agreement without regard to action on treaty. Since Wilsons–Lloyd George Agreement is an international agreement apart from and outside of treaty there is no reason apparent why our acceptance should be dependent or wait for our ratification of the treaty.