Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State (Phillips)

I sent for the British Chargé d’Affaires this morning and said that I was prepared to give him an answer to the inquiry which he made on August 4th regarding the possibility of the sale of airplanes to Germany for police duty.

I said that it would be just as well if the British Government did not address us a formal communication on the subject; there was no law forbidding American manufacturers from exporting arms and ammunition and supplies to Germany. On the other hand, it has been the policy of this Government for a number of years, if the occasion arose, to dissuade manufacturers from such exportations; this policy continued and would, in my opinion, be effective because the manufacturers of airplanes were looking to the United States Government as their best customer and that it would be very unlikely, in the circumstances, that they would do anything to incur the displeasure of this Government.

Mr. Osborne said that this was a perfectly satisfactory answer to his question and he would communicate it to his Government.

William Phillips