811.113 Senate Investigation/249

The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador (Lindsay)

My Dear Mr. Ambassador: I acknowledge the receipt of your note of April 8, 1935, in which, acting under instructions from your Government, you refer to our recent conversations in regard to the intention of the Special Committee of the Senate Investigating the Munitions Industry to examine correspondence which passed between your Government and certain New York banks during the World War. Upon receipt of your note, I arranged for a conference with the Chairman and some of the members of the committee.

I had already discussed this matter with them but in this conference I took occasion to present once more, and in the strongest terms, the point of view of your Government in regard to this matter, stressing its hope that the Committee do not proceed with its intended examination of the papers in question, or at least defer such examination until the lessening of the tension in the international situation in Europe might decrease the likelihood of unintended and unfortunate repercussions.

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The members of the Committee, with whom I discussed this matter, felt that the examination of this correspondence was necessary in order to enable the Committee to prepare legislation which it intends to submit to the Senate in the near future. They have no doubt as to the legal right of the Committee to proceed with its intended examination. They were anxious to avoid any action which might result in embarrassment to friendly governments, but they felt that the arrangement which they had already made with me, and which I have already communicated to you, was sufficient to obviate any possibility that the examination of this correspondence might have the unfortunate results which you anticipate. The Chairman of the Committee reiterated his assurance that none of this correspondence would be made public in any manner until I had been given an opportunity to consult with you, and to ascertain the attitude of your Government toward the publication of any documents which the Committee might possibly desire to include in its report.

I realize that the arrangement which I have been able to make with the Committee does not entirely meet the desires of your Government, but I hope that it will at least serve as a practical means of obviating the embarrassments which it was felt might result from the investigation which the Committee is undertaking.

I am [etc.]

Cordell Hull