Memorandum by the Assistant to the Secretary of State (McBride)

Mr. Ray Atherton called at 4:50 p.m. and gave the following message:

“I have been talking to the Foreign Secretary with reference to the message which Mr. Dunn gave me a little while ago. Sir Samuel Hoare is unable to say now what may be the results, if any, of Geneva’s decision, arrived at today, to recommend to both the Italians and Abyssinians that they stop fighting—but in any case the British Government has no objection to whenever the United States Government decides to issue its proclamation prohibiting the exportation of implements of war under the Neutrality Resolution. The British Government is anxious to bring the matter to a head as quickly as possible.

“However, Sir Samuel Hoare doubts whether before Monday evening12 at the earliest Geneva can even consider recommendations looking to the naming of an aggressor and it is not until after this that the question of sanctions arises. The machinery is cumbersome and it may be the middle of next week, or later in the week, at the very earliest, before Geneva could agree on a policy of sanctions, however limited.

“Sir Samuel Hoare personally gives as his opinion that, to be as effective as possible, he hopes the President’s proclamation may be as wide and inclusive as possible and the sooner issued in this case the better—particularly from the point of view of effectiveness in limiting the duration of the war.

“As to a further proclamation that Mr. Dunn dictated textually to Mr. Atherton, Sir Samuel Hoare says he considers it a good warning to Americans to keep off the course—in other words, he has no objection to it.”

Mr. Atherton then went on to stress the fact that all of the above was a personal reply to his personal question except that part of the first paragraph which states that the British Government has no objection to the issuance of the munitions proclamation at any time.

Harry A. McBride
  1. October 7.