Memorandum by Mr. Joseph C. Green of the Division of Western European Affairs

Count de Leusse11 called at my office this morning. He told me that Monsieur Jules Henry, Counselor of his Embassy, who has recently returned from Paris, was asked by Massigli12 before he left to report fully on the various proposals which have been discussed for modifying the neutrality policy of the United States and the projects of legislation for taking the profits out of war.

I explained to Count de Leusse that the determination on the part of the American people to keep out of any future European war had grown in intensity with the failure of the former allied powers to continue payments on their debts to the United States and with the apparently growing tension of the international situation in Europe. I said that this public opinion had been reflected in Congress in a number of bills designed to keep us out of a possible European war by modifying [Page 372] our neutrality policy and by destroying any prospect of private profit should we become involved.

On the subject of neutrality, I invited his attention to the article by Mr. Charles Warren which appeared in Foreign Affairs last year13 and the subsequent increased discussion of the subject. I told him that the Department, at the request of the President, had been studying our neutrality policy, with a view to possible modifications, but that the Department had as yet not recommended any specific legislation and that the President, so far as I knew, had made no decision in the matter. I assured him that the bills recently introduced in the House by Messrs. Maverick14 and Kloeb15 and in the Senate by Senators Nye and Clark were not to be considered as Administration measures.

I described briefly the nature of the McSwain bill16 to take profits out of war, which was recently passed by the House, and the Flynn bill17 which has received the approval of the Nye Committee. I explained to him the present status of those bills.

Joseph C. Green
  1. Third Secretary of the French Embassy.
  2. René Massigli, Assistant Director of Political and Commercial Affairs in the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
  3. “Troubles of a Neutral,” Foreign Affairs, vol. 12, April 1934, p. 337.
  4. H. J. Res. 239, Congressional Record, vol. 79, pt. 5, p. 5203.
  5. H. R. 7125, Ibid., p. 4719.
  6. H. R. 5529, Ibid., p. 5325.
  7. Prepared by John T. Flynn, economic adviser of the Nye Committee.