Memorandum by the Secretary of State
The Norwegian Minister called to say goodbye before sailing next week for a two months’ visit to his home. He had nothing of any importance to say, except that, from reading the foreign press and carefully observing the drift of sentiment among the public and statesmen abroad, he felt there was a definite opinion already formed to the effect that our economic program here offered by far the best if not the only agency at all adequate to bring back both economic and military peace. I expressed my gratification, and added that I had the same impression.
I then suggested that if his and statesmen of other countries would take advantage of every occasion to proclaim to the world the merits and the necessity of this program, it would be of much educational benefit in the development of favorable public opinion. I further remarked that the great danger was that too many countries would float along and wait for the economic ills virtually to cure themselves before taking any affirmative steps, with the result that disaster would inevitably overtake many parts of the world again; that if, for example, the British Government had joined this Government two years ago in active support of our economic program, other countries would have been actively enlisted in the movement and all possible attention [Page 399]would have been given at every stage during the past two years to economic conditions in each important section and country and to methods of their improvement, with the result that in all probability the Italian’s economic situation would have been receiving such attention and such action as would have avoided the steps of aggression finally taken largely under economic pressure; that if the nations should float along still further without any action, they would see still other uprisings and see the world moving still further in the direction of international anarchy; and that again I desired to express the hope that the statesmen of Norway would lose no opportunity to cooperate in educating public opinion relative to this vital problem.