Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Western European Affairs (Moffat) of a Conversation With the German Chargé (Leitner)

Dr. Leitner came to see me in much agitation at 9:10 this morning. He said that he had received another telegram from the German Foreign Office with reference to his talk with Mr. Hull a week or so ago regarding Edgar Mowrer, the correspondent in Berlin of the Chicago Daily News. He had at the time asked Mr. Hull to persuade the paper to withdraw Mowrer immediately else the Germans would have to expel him, and left an article which had given particular offense. Mr. Hull said he would look into the matter and spoke to both Mr. Hackworth52 and myself. We found out that the paper had transferred Mr. Mowrer from Berlin to Tokyo at just about the time of the interview and assumed that the matter had dropped.

Now Dr. Leitner read me a further telegram, roughly to the following effect: “No reply as yet to your representations about Mowrer. We cannot delay much longer and will have to expel him by the beginning of the week unless action is taken.” I told Leitner that this was a very big thing that he was asking us to do as it brought into play the entire relationship between the Government and the press. I could give him no indication until I had spoken to Mr. Phillips53 but I recognized the [Page 404] urgency of the matter. Dr. Leitner intimated that he thought there were ways and means here whereby the Government could ask newspaper owners to remove objectionable correspondents. I told him that we recognized the shortness of the time and that I would get in touch with him again this morning.

Pierrepont Moffat
  1. Green H. Hackworth, Legal Adviser of the Department of State.
  2. William Phillips, Under Secretary of State.