The Chargé in Italy ( Kirk ) to the Secretary of State
[Received June 19—3:05 p.m.]
305. Today’s press carries news despatch from New York stating that it is learned from reliable sources that in view of the probability of war in Abyssinia the American Government has in principle decided to recall its diplomatic agent in Addis Ababa and make an explicit declaration of neutrality. It is also stated that in reply to pressure brought by anti-Italian elements on the ground of the resentment [Page 788] of the Negro population a highly placed American official is alleged to have called attention to the equally strong potential resentment of the Italian population. The despatch concludes that unquestionably any anti-Italian action based on alleged American sympathies for the Abyssinians would provoke strong reaction from American-Italians who are following developments with “fervid patriotism”.