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Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, August 22, 1929

The Bath Club,
34, Dover Street, W.1.

I’m getting away to Antigny tomorrow, dearest Mildred, and hope to spend 3 weeks there quietly.

The Hague business is too exciting for me—I can hardly bear to look at the papers.At the first Hague conference, Philip Snowden, 1st Viscount Snowden (1864–1937), a British politician and the first Labour chancellor of the exchequer between 1929 and 1931, was unwilling to accept the experts’ recommendation on the division of reparations, as he believed Great Britain should have a greater share. According to Charles Poor Kindleberger, “[i]n the course of the debates, Snowden called an argument by Chéron, the French minister of finance, “ridiculous and grotesque,” an expression strong in English but still stronger in French. This led to difficulty.” See Charles Pool Kindleberger, The World in Depression, 1929–1939 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973), 68. Snowden’s demands and rejection of the offer at The Hague are chronicled in a series of articles in the New York Times by Edwin L. James: “Applauds Snowden for Hague Demands; Labor Party Organ in London Says He has not Flouted Socialism by Stand” (August 23, 1929); “Snowden Rejects New Hague Offer; Allies to Try Again; British Spokesman Finds Sum is only 60 Per Cent of his $11,500,000 Demand” (August 24, 1929); “Britain Asks New Offer, France, Belgium, Japan and Italy Then Reply 70% is all They Can Give” (August 25, 1929); “Offer to Snowden 60% of his Demand; Four Powers to Submit ‘Final’ Young Plan Proposal to Britain at The Hague Today” (August 26, 1929); and “Snowden Rejects ‘Final’ Hague Offer; Break-Up at Hand” (August 27, 1929). The only really hopeful sign I can see is that, a couple of days ago, a little very bright-eyed grey birdArthur Salter. had to interrupt its holidays and flit over to The Hague, being urgently needed there. (Hush, hush!)

We hope very much to get, for this Burlington Club ExhibitionArt in the Dark Ages in Europe (circa 400–1000 AD), an exhibition at the Burlington Fine Arts Club, London, in 1930. See Reginald A. Smith, “Art in the Dark Ages,” The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 57, no. 328 (July 1930): 3–10. next spring, some of the gold ornaments from Stockholm. Would you perhaps be willing to write to the Koechlin of StockholmI.e., to the appropriate curator of the National Museum of Antiquities (Historiska Museet), Stockholm. and put in a good word or us? We’ll of course make a formal application in due course, but a word from you would be very precious to prepare the way.

News from Bill are good, he’s getting on well, putting on weight, and we hope will be able to go up to Oxford in Oct.See letters of August 11, 1929, and August 13, 1929. Bless you.

R. T.