President Roosevelt to the Secretary of State
[Received October 4—4:25 p.m.]
If when you receive this you have any official confirmation of Italian invasion and of battles and casualties well within Ethiopian border it seems to me that this constitutes war within the intent of the statute and should be proclaimed as such by me. This holds true even if there is no formal declaration.
In such case and we issue the several proclamations, there should be a brief statement to the public to accompany them. You might send me a draft of statement.
Also please give consideration to following: if neutrality proclamations are issued, first giving publicity to names of all American citizens sailing from United States on Italian flag ships, second making public the cargo manifests of all American goods destined for either belligerent including those goods all raw materials which do not fall into munitions classification please ask acting Secretary Treasury to cover each day through banks any possible credit extension to either belligerent for purchases in United States or otherwise. Let me have your views.