811.4061 March of Time/39: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in Albania (Riggs)

22. Legation’s despatch No. 230, October 29, 1936. If you consider it desirable under the circumstances you may convey to the Minister [Page 3] for Foreign Affairs the following message from me in reply to the protest enclosed with your despatch under reference:

“There is no one more than I who deprecates the exhibition of such films as ‘The March of Time’ which caused offense to the Albanian Government and people. It is the desire of the American Government to strengthen the friendly ties existing between it and other governments. The foreign relations of the American Government are conducted on the basis of complete respect for the rights and sensibilities of other nations. My Government, therefore, deplores any action of private citizens that is in discord with this policy and that causes offense to the peoples of other countries. That such action may occur from time to time to embarrass my Government in the accomplishment of its purpose is understandable in the light of our tradition of freedom of speech and of the press, a tradition which is cherished by every citizen as part of the national heritage, and a right which is guaranteed under our Constitution. Nevertheless, my Government deeply regrets any such occurrence that might reflect upon the cordial ties of friendship that unite the peoples of our two countries.”

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