Security and Disarmament
French Governments of the Right, the Left, the Center, French Cabinets dominated by Nationalistic and Radical sentiments, had succeeded one another; the Left had but recently returned to power after a shining triumph, but for fourteen years France itself had met each foreign proposal with the unvarying response that security preceded all else. . . . If America continued to preach, France still remained unconverted.
-- Frank Simonds, 1932
The discovery of American empire by French critics in 1927 coincided with the deterioration of relations between the two countries. Three issues were particularly provocative to French observers: the American position on securities and disarmament, the agreements on debts and reparations, and the rise of American investment in Europe. The acrimonious discussion of these issues, as André Siegfried pointed out, rendered obsolete the wartime symbol of the Franco-American entente, Lafayette.1 Relations between the two countries were no longer characterized by a collaboration of equals. The entente was giving way to American empire.
While the issues of debts and security are analytically separable and have been treated in separate chapters of this section, they were, in fact, linked by their impact on each other and by their effect on Franco-American relations. The solution to the debt problem was closely intertwined with the achievement of security. Both Ameri-