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Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, September 6, 1928

Geneva. 6.IX.28Sunday.

I hear from Mrs. Truxton Beale,Mrs. Truxton Beale (née Marie Chase Oge, 1880–1956), the wife of the diplomat Truxton Beale and a Washington, D.C., hostess, socialite, and philanthropist who was renowned for her historic home, Decatur House, on Lafayette Square and for the annual dinner she gave for the diplomatic corps. who is here, that you will be in Paris in Nov., dearest Mildred. Thank God for that, but I can’t wait so long to tell you my news.

I have accepted an offer from Hambros Bank (London)Hambros Bank, a British bank based in London. The Hambros Bank specialized in Anglo-Scandinavian business, with expertise in trade finance and investment banking, and was the sole banker to the Scandinavian kingdoms for many years. The bank was sold in 1998. to act as their European Representative, with headquarters in Paris, my duties being to advise them on financial and political conditions in the countries in which they have interests: Spain, Portugal, Italy, all S. E. Europe including Turkey, Germany and, eventually, Russia; also to sit on the Boards of banks and other concerns in which they are interested.

The alternative that presented itself here was the advisership to the new National Bank of Bulgaria (This very confidential, please).

I was dreadfully torn—the work I’ve been engaged on for the last four years and would have continued in Bulgaria appeals to me immensely, and one of the things about it which I particularly like is that one is working for a general, international purpose, and not to make money for oneself or any particular private interests. Worst of all was the prospect of parting with Salterthat’s a wound that I’ll carry always, though he has been most angelic about it, as ever, and has comforted me with the idea that sometime, perhaps, I may work for the League again.

I had to consider that I’m 44, that if I had taken the Bulgarian job, I’d have bean expected to bind myself for 5 years, that my special sort of job under the League is very rare, and the chances are that there wouldn’t be another going just when I wanted it, which would mean that I’d have to go out and look for work, which is a very different matter from being approached with offers. Also, that Bill is going to be expensive for years to come, and that one must think of making provision for one’s old age. The Hambro job means that I get a fixed salary that is more than I’d get all told in Bulgaria (or am getting now) and in addition, director’s fees and tantièmes“Royalties.” in the various boards on which I represent Hambro, plus all expenses whenever I’m away from Paris on business, which will be most of the time, of course.

The immediate financial aspect of the job, while rather better than my present circumstances or anything likely under the League, isn’t so brilliant as to determine my choice. But there are prospects, if I succeed in making myself really useful, of being able, in time, really to put myself on a sound footing, and these are pleasant after a life time of uncertainty.

Elisina of course wanted me to accept, but she was very good about it and didn’t in the least try to sway me, but simply told me to decide as I thought best.

The offer came, entirely unsolicited, just before this meeting. Jeremiah Smith advised me to accept, and dear Arthur Salter told me, with you can imagine what a look, that if he were in my place he’d take it.

Of course I’m under contract to stay in Hungary till June 30 next, but I think I shall be able to arrange, in agreement with the Fin. CommitteeOn October 25, 1920, the League of Nations appointed an Advisory Economic and Financial Committee composed of two sections of ten members each and tasked with “the working out of measures of an economic and financial nature which have been submitted for adoption by Members of the League in accordance with the Covenant of the League.” and the Hungarian Govt., to get away before that, say soon after the New Year. I shall then have to spend several months in London, and shall hardly settle down to the job in Paris before the autumn of 1929.

I’ve informed the Fin. Ctee, privately, that I shall officially ask them, next meeting, to release me sometime before my contract expires. It is all the more difficult to fix a date now that there is going to be a new finance minister in Hungary, and I can’t decently leave before I’ve had him under observation for a couple of months.

Please don’t say anything about this at present, except to Robert, of course.

It’s fortunate, in a way, that I can’t start in at once on a new job that will take all my time, for if I were going to do so I don’t suppose I’d ever have time to do the new book on Byzantine Art, which Hayford Peirce and I have just started.L’art byzantin, vol. 1. Curious, isn’t it, whenever I start a book on Byz. Art, a new job comes along? It did last time, too.See letter of April 9, 1924.

This is a dull meeting at Geneva; I’m going back to Antigny tomorrow for 10 days, to see Bill on his return from Canada,See letter of July 30, 1928 [2]. and then to Hungary.

Please, dearest Mildred, send me at once a line saying when you arrive in Paris, and for how long.See telegram of September 12, 1928 [1].

Much love to you both
R. T.

 
Associated Things: L'art byzantin