Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Murray)

The Italian Ambassador called me by telephone this morning to inquire whether the Department had issued the statement contained in the New York Times of today, May 18, 1935, to the effect that “the selection of Pitman Benjamin Potter as one of Abyssinia’s conciliators in the dispute with Italy was made without consultation with the United States Government”.

I informed the Ambassador that the Department had made no official statement in the above sense, but that the facts were correct.

The above quoted news item from the New York Times probably results from an inquiry made of me yesterday by Mr. Hulen of the New York Times as to whether the Department had been consulted in this matter. I told him that we had not been consulted but that no statement to that effect should be attributed to the Department without the consent of the Secretary or the Under Secretary.

Wallace Murray