File No. 763.72119So/3

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain ( Page)3


7106. Referring to your confidential telegram 9245, March 27, 11 p.m.,4 and as supplemental to my telegram 6993, March 23, 2 p.m.,5 I would state for your information and for such use as you think advisable the following:

By section 5 of the Federal Penal Code an American citizen who, without permission or authority of this Government, carries on intercourse with a foreign government with the intent to influence its conduct for the purpose of defeating measures of his own Government, shall be subject to a heavy fine and imprisonment. In view of the principle involved in this law it would be contrary to the reciprocity which should govern international intercourse and inconsistent with the traditional policy of the United States for the President or a responsible official to receive the subjects or citizens of a foreign state for the purpose of discussing an international question involving the policy of their Government unless their Government directly or through its diplomatic representative indicates that it has granted them permission or authority to carry on intercourse with the Government of the United States.

[Page 189]

You will use the foregoing declaration with discretion and in a way to avoid embarrassment to this Government.

  1. The same, mutatis mutandis, on the same date, to the Ambassadors in France (No. 3426) and Italy (No. 1142).
  2. Not printed.
  3. See footnote 1, ante, p. 171.