Memorandum of Trans-Atlantic Telephone Conversation 12a

Mr. Gordon: Hello, Gordon speaking.

Mr. Phillips: Right here, this is Phillips.

Mr. Gordon: I am sorry to give you the following news. We got hold of the Foreign Minister immediately after your message. He said, we thank you (along these lines) but with every evidence of great distress it is unfortunately too late now to try to call off the boycott for tomorrow morning. The Minister realized that you have done all you could and had gone along the terms he spoke of. This is my comment showing who is running the show. He told me that the Chancellor thought it was now too late possibly to stop it for tomorrow morning.

Mr. Phillips: Is that all?

Mr. Gordon: No. The Chancellor, however, was out, the Foreign Minister had already when I saw him at 11:00 o’clock, about an hour ago, given orders that the boycott would cease tomorrow evening at 7:00 o’clock. It will be held in abeyance until Wednesday morning, April 5th, at 10:00 a.m., in order to see what the reaction abroad would be. In other words, if the propaganda has not decreased, the boycott will be resumed with greater intensity. I may add that this last phrase was given over the radio by Goebbels, the Minister of Propaganda, within five minutes of the time when I was speaking to the gentleman in question. In other words, the Foreign Minister did not put it quite that way, but by the time I had got to the Chancery it had gone out over the radio in the form I am telling you. The gentleman I was speaking to continued that if under these circumstances you still felt that you could make a statement along the lines indicated, let us say, on Monday morning or thereabouts, it would be tremendously helpful if you could see your way to it. Monday was only tentative. He said, somewhat later. In other words, Monday morning, Monday afternoon, Sunday evening, Tuesday morning, would be equally as good as Monday morning.

Mr. Phillips: I see.

Mr. Gordon: You can readily see what is going on. As I told you this afternoon, it was an eleventh hour breakdown and may happen again.

Mr. Phillips: I understand.

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Mr. Gordon: I do not want to go much further into it, but that is the situation.

Mr. Phillips: Have you any suggestions?

Mr. Gordon: My suggestion is as follows: If tomorrow should go by without such disorders as would be hard to control, I would still be in favor of doing anything possible that we could with dignity to save the situation on Monday. It all depends really on how they behave tomorrow, I think, as to how we should decide upon our own action.

Mr. Phillips: I see. Then we will not publish any statement tonight.

Mr. Gordon: Of course, you cannot under the circumstances. Would you like me to call you up about this time tomorrow evening, or better still Sunday morning.

Mr. Phillips: I think Sunday morning might be a good time.

Mr. Gordon: When would be a good time for you? Ten o’clock your time?

Mr. Phillips: Yes. Call me at the Department at 10:00 o’clock our time.

Mr. Gordon: I will call you Sunday morning and I can make more suggestions then.

Mr. Gordon: I am sorry about the proposed letter of Sir John Simon which I spoke to you about during our other telephone conversation this afternoon, that did not materialize in the form that had been hoped for, but it is expected here that it may eventually, just as they hope eventually we may be able to help out. The House of Commons is in recess this afternoon.

Mr. Phillips: So that no communication came through from London at all?

Mr. Gordon: We are not certain, but if there was one, it was not in as complete form as he had counted upon when he spoke to me this evening.

Mr. Phillips: What was his reaction to our form?

Mr. Gordon: Excellent, but so harrassed that there was very little analysis left. I hope you get that last phrase. I tried to convey a lot. I will call you at 10:00 o’clock Sunday.

Mr. Phillips: Thank you very much.

  1. Between Mr. Phillips in Washington and Mr. Gordon in Berlin, March 31, 1933, 6 p.m.