462.11L5232/569: Telegram

The Chargé in Germany ( Mayer ) to the Secretary of State

143. Department’s 49, May 11, 7 p.m. Dieckhoff71 asked me to see him late yesterday afternoon and spoke to me at some length about the Claims Commission cases. Goering had telephoned him Saturday [Page 264] after our conversation and I understand asked him to instruct the German Agent as Goering had told me he would do. Instead the Foreign Office apparently questioned the German Agent about the matter, taking the attitude that it had an excellent case; that there is nothing for Germany to worry about in a hearing; and that Germany has no grounds on which to ask for an adjournment. I gained the clear impression that the Foreign Office is suspicious of some of the claimants and those connected therewith, both Germans and foreigners. In short it was quite evident that the Foreign Office was opposed to the recent development in the Claims Commission matter.

Dieckhoff said that Goering had left town immediately after telephoning him Saturday and that he would not be back until this morning. Quite evidently this was developing into a “family row” in which it seemed best for us to remain on the side lines until the various authorities could come to a common decision. I had given Dieckhoff an account of our position in the matter so the Foreign Office knew exactly where we stood. When, at the end of our talk, Dieckhoff asked me not to record our conversation until he had had a chance to see Goering this morning and try to arrange matters satisfactorily for all, I assented wishing to cooperate with the Foreign Office in so far as it did not appear to damage our interests.

Peaslee72 has telephoned that the Foreign Office got in touch with Goering last night; that Hitler was brought into the picture; that he and Goering were determined to maintain the position the latter had taken with me on Saturday;73 and that Peaslee had been accordingly one of the henchmen so to inform his people in New York.

Meanwhile your telegram 49 has arrived. After careful consideration it seems to me undesirable to take up the matter again with Goering since he was quite clear and categorical in his statements on Saturday reported to you in my 139, May 9, 2 p.m. I took the precaution to bring with me the pertinent parts of your cable No. 24, March 14, 4 [3] p.m., and your 46, May 8, 4 p.m., carefully translated and typed out on a plain piece of paper. This Goering read over by himself after I had stated it to him and I left the paper with him as a memorandum. There can be no mistake as to his correct understanding of the matter nor of his statements to me in this regard. If he wishes to carry out the agreement he will do so. If he has any questions to ask he can get in touch with me. If for any reason he decides not to carry out the agreement I am confident that you would not think it dignified or useful for me to try to persuade him to the contrary. In any event we will know where Goering stands which [Page 265] will be informative for the larger questions discussed in our conversation of May 6. As to the Foreign Office I felt that you would not wish me to exert any pressure on account of the local complication.

  1. H. H. Dieckhoff of the German Foreign Office.
  2. Amos Peaslee of New York, attorney for the group of American sabotage claimants.
  3. See telegram No. 139, May 9, 2 p.m., from the Chargé” in Germany, p. 262.