765.84/1219: Telegram

The Ambassador in Italy ( Long ) to the Secretary of State

588. I refer to Geneva’s 299, September 14, 7 p.m.38 and particularly to paragraphs 4, 5, 6 and 7 thereof relating to sanctions.

If sanctions are invoked at Geneva I sincerely hope the American Government will not associate itself with them. There would be many unfortunate grave repercussions at home and unnecessary complications here.

The Congress passed at its recent session directory legislation governing the relations between the American Government and belligerents. In my opinion the American Government ought to act under that legislation and without reference to the program of any other government or group of governments and should so time its acts and so phrase its declarations on the subject that it will exclude the assumption that it is acting in concert with other powers.

Please pardon my presumption but the implications in the telegram under reference indicate the possibility of some thought of action in concert which I would consider a serious political and international error.

  1. Ante, p. 647.