811.00 Nazi/61

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

My Dear Mr. Ambassador: Shortly before you go on leave, I feel that it would be advisable for you to discuss with the Chancellor the major questions of common interest to the United States Government and to the German Government. Let it be understood that you desire to do so, not under specific instructions, but in order to be in a position to convey an authentic report to the President on your return.

I suggest that, in the course of your discussion, you bring up the topic of foreign propaganda in the United States. You may find it desirable to indicate your desire to avoid any debate on the purely legal or technical aspects of the question and your wish to consider it solely as a friend of Germany who is interested in whatever may contribute to improved relations between the two countries.

In your remarks, you may point out the popular disposition in the United States to resent and be critical of any policy that suggests an artificial or unusual effort to influence public opinion from abroad. You may likewise wish to cite the action of sailors in carrying ashore for distribution leaflets in English of the Fichte Bund of Hamburg and the ill-advised activities of individual Germans who have sought to transplant foreign political differences here. You may perhaps [Page 531] emphasize not merely the futility of such activities but the direct harm that results from counter agitation, unfavorable publicity and popular pressure for suppressive action.

The object of your conversation should be to permit of an exchange of views in which the Chancellor may, without resort to actual representations, be made aware of the interest in this matter here.

Sincerely yours,

Cordell Hull