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The negotiators hard at work. [Pierre] Laval, [Anthony] Eden, [Franŝois] Piétri (Naval Minister), [and Henri] Berenger (Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs), Quai d'Orsay, Paris
[Eden-Laval talks: discussing the Anglo-German naval agreement]
Gelatin silver print, vintage
4 9/16 x 7 1/16 ins
Courtesy of the Lucien Aigner Estate
From the photo story "Eden-Laval talks: discussing the Anglo-German naval agreement," published 1935 in Blanco y Negro (Buenos Aires), Illustrated London News, L'Illustration (Paris), das Interessante Blatt (Vienna), Munchner Illustrierte Presse (Munich), VU (Paris), and Weekly Illustrated (London).
"It started out with a phone call from Carlo [Rim, my editor,] informing me that I would take pictures for VU that afternoon at the Foreign Office on the Quai d'Orsay and that he himself would meet me there to see to it that everything went all right... When I arrived an hour later at the famous landmark on the Quai, Carlo was already waiting for me. In a few minutes we were ushered into a large conference room, where the gypsy-faced Pierre Laval was finishing his after-dinner coffee with Anthony Eden and a number of high French and British officials and French parliamentarians. The presence of the leaders of the Foreign Relations committees of the Chamber and of the Senate indicated that the subject was important.
And it was. At this meeting Eden had the painful task of explaining to the French why the British government had seen fit to agree to a naval parity with Germany in certain categories of warships, and why His Majesty's government had done this secretly without even informing the French... From the attitudes of the men around the table you couldn't have guessed that the French were angry and the English embarrassed. Only the hard puffs on their cigarettes and thoughtful sips from their demitasses indicated that they were thinking hard about what they would say. Those were convenient cover-ups for what might have proven embarrassingly long silences."
Lucien Aigner, from his unpublished memoirs