Emily Greene Balch to Charles Evans Hughes, August 14, 1922

To the Hon. Charles E. Hughes,
Secretary of State,
Washington, D.C.

August 14, 1922.

Dear Mr. Secretary,

I venture to add to the above letter just a word to express my great satisfaction at the decision reached some time ago by the United States to postpone its claims on Austria.

When I was in the United States on a vacation in December I made statements based on the authority of a Report issued by the National Chamber of Commerce which said

"All of the countries involved except Italy and the United States have agreed to deferment. Italy, it is understood has agreed to postpone her claim if the United States takes similar action. . . . Only the approval of the United States is necessary therefor to make this scheme operative. . . .  The whole program in so far as Austria is concerned has been delayed for some months because the United States has not acted."

I made every effort to verify my facts, learning for instance directly from the Italian consul that it was true that Italy had come into the agreement. It was only later that I discovered that it not true that the United States was the only one of Austrian's creditors which had not postponed its claims. I regretted and regret extremely that I was led into a misstatement after having been at such pains to make all that I said absolutely exact.

I have never written nor I think spoken of the matter in Europe. All that I said while in the United States was the expression of a loyal lover of my country and a desire to see it the most effective and generous element in a world of friendly peoples. [page 2]

I beg you pardon for taking up your time with all this but I have been told that you had a mistaken impression in regard to my efforts in this matter of the Austrian credits, which I should be very glad to remove if possible.

Very sincerely yours,

Emily G. Balch,

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