100 Years Ago – 3 August 1922

3 August 1922

What became known as Balfour Note, a demand by the acting British Foreign Secretary for the allied forces to repay a British debt to the United States, was condemned by the French and the Americans. The note read:

“In no circumstances do we propose to ask more from our debtors than is necessary to pay to our creditors. And, while we do not ask for more, all will admit that we can hardly be content with less. For it should not be forgotten, though it sometimes is, that our liabilities were incurred for others, not for ourselves. The food, the raw materials, the munitions required for the immense naval and military efforts of Great Britain, and half the £2,000,000,000 advanced to allies, were provided, not by means of foreign loans, but by internal borrowing and war taxation. Unfortunately a similar policy was beyond the power of other European nations. Appeal was therefore made to the Government of the United States; and under the arrangement then arrived at the United States insisted, in substance if not in form, that, though our allies were to spend the money, it was only on our security that they were prepared to lend it. This co-operative effort was of infinite value to the common cause, but it cannot be said that the role assigned in it to this country was one of special privilege or advantage.”

Winston Churchill, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, said that he believed that the Provisional Government in Ireland was doing what it could to preserve their country and their new found liberties.

The death of Alexander Graham Bell, credited with inventing the telephone, was announced.