751.6111/115: Telegram

The Ambassador in Germany (Dodd) to the Secretary of State

48. An important Foreign Office official today commented on ratification of Franco-Soviet pact substantially as follows:

The German Government maintains its position that the pact is in contravention of Locarno in that it would alter machinery for assistance provided for in the treaty through operation of Covenant of the League. The German Government, however, is not going to get excited about the matter but wants the record perfectly clear on this point. There had not been and the implication was that there would not be protest. Regarding the demilitarized zone “no one in Germany is thinking of taking action”. Newspaper comment on the ratification has been suppressed to date, but there will likely be such comment after ratification, although not of violent character. While Germany considers Franco-Soviet pact as breach of Locarno, it is less interested in the “letter” of the agreement than in the “spirit” which may develop in France and Russia—and especially the latter—as a result of the pact.

Apropos of this, the Foreign Office official also discussed at some length German-Russian relations saying, “the last word has not been said on both sides.” This observation, which was the same he made to us several days ago, gave the impression along with his further comment that he at least favored if not actually was working toward an improvement in German-Russian relations. He added that on both sides the military were well disposed. While his statements in this relation were guarded it seemed evident, between the lines, that army influence was being used to bring about closer Russo-German relations.

This confirms statement of Lithuanian Minister 2 weeks ago that the Foreign Office and the army were again bringing pressure to bear on Hitler to change his attitude toward Soviets.

Repeated to Paris, London, Geneva, Rome, Moscow.