862.20/750: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in the United Kingdom (Atherton)

63. Your 126, March 20, 6 p.m. Will you be good enough to thank Sir John Simon on my behalf for the full and frank way in which he discussed the present European situation with you, with particular reference to British policy. I have taken occasion today to answer some inquiries of the press and quote for your information the following excerpt from this afternoon’s press conference:

“The Secretary informed the correspondents in answer to their inquiries in regard to recent events in Europe that the Government in [Page 205] its foreign relations is proceeding on its usual normal course. He stated that the Government was, of course, following events in Europe with the utmost care and that the Department of State realizes that the situation is difficult and that the public here is really concerned over developments. The Secretary declared that everybody knows that the United States has always believed that treaties must constitute the foundation on which any stable peace structure must rest. He pointed out that all who believe in peaceful settlements of international problems of all kinds have felt increasing concern over tendencies to fail to live up to the letter and spirit of treaties. The Secretary expressed the belief that the moral influence of the United States and its people must always encourage living up) to treaties. He stated that efforts now being made in Europe looking to an alleviation of the present tension will be closely followed by the American Government and expressed the hope that these efforts will succeed in their purpose of bringing about a general appeasement.[”]