860M.01 Memel/137: Telegram

The Ambassador in Germany (Sackett) to the Secretary of State

40. Foreign Office states that Memel dispute is more threatening and dangerous and urges that Mr. Skinner proceed immediately to Kovno. Foreign Office hopes that he will exercise moderating influence on Lithuanian Government.

It was explained that German Government fears that Merkys may form a Lithuanian directorate, dissolve Diet, order new elections under martial law and have exequatur of German Consul General withdrawn. Germany would be obliged to make reprisals. It was impossible to foresee the outcome, particularly if there were disorders in Memel. Though every effort has been made to keep Memel dispute as quiet as possible, public opinion in Germany was greatly aroused. Reichstag interpellations would be made Friday. Foreign Office pointed out that with excitation attending German presidential elections, situation could easily get out of hand.

Repeated to Riga.