The Ambassador in Italy (Long) to the Secretary of State
[Received March 31—7:46 a.m.]
174. I learned from a responsible officer of the Italian Government the substance of the conversations between Hitler and Simon. After Simon’s departure Hitler called in the French and Belgian Ambassadors and the Italian Chargé d’Affaires and told them in entire confidence for the information of their Governments, but not to be divulged, the German point of view as follows:
- German recent military decree represents Germany’s minimum requirement.
- Germany demands a navy one-third the size of England’s.
- Germany is willing to enter into an air pact of mutual assistance on the condition that the German air force will be equal to the strongest air force of any country in Europe.
- Germany will not guarantee the independence of Austria and insists that a majority of the people in Austria have the right to determine their allegiance without interference of any kind from any other government.
There were no German demands for rectification of the Czechoslovak frontier nor for the Polish Corridor nor for the return of any of their colonies. Stories published in English newspapers and reprinted [Page 212] in various continental papers including Italy to that effect are without any foundation in fact and a denial of their correctness was to be issued last night by the German Embassy in London.