740.00/158: Telegram

The Ambassador in France ( Bullitt ) to the Secretary of State

563 and 565. In the course of a long conversation this afternoon Sir Eric Phipps stated to me that he did not see the faintest possibility of coming to any agreement with Hitler. He was certain from his experience in Berlin that the only thing which could impress the Germans today was military force. He believed that any negotiations which might be begun today with Germany by England or France would end in failure unless France and England should be prepared to accord Germany absolute domination of the international situation.

He said that the Germans frequently had approached him with the statement that they desired the most friendly and closest relations with Great Britain but that they had followed this remark invariably with the statement that there were really only two nations in Europe which amounted to anything, England and Germany, and that they should divide between them the domination of the Continent. He said that this policy would mean the end of international morality. I suggested that it might also mean the end of the British Empire since when Germany had established a sufficient dominance on the Continent she would be in a position to turn her attention to Great Britain.

He replied that in any event it was his opinion and that of his Government that the only chance of preserving peace was for Great Britain to rearm as fast as possible and during the period of rearmament try to keep Germany quiet.

He added that he thought that if France and England should remain on the most intimate terms of friendship and should have behind them a benevolently neutral United States, Germany would hesitate to risk a major war. He repeated emphatically to me the statement that he had made to Delbos reported in my 556, April 30, 5 p.m., with regard to Czechoslovakia. He said that it would be absolutely impossible for Great Britain to promise to come to the support of Czechoslovakia if Czechoslovakia should be attacked by Germany. He again expressed the opinion that Germany could take Austria at any time she liked and added that Neurath had said to him after his [Page 86] return from his recent trip to Vienna that Austria was such a ripe fruit that Germany was no longer worried about the date at which it would fall into Nazi hands.

Sir Eric then said that he was somewhat disappointed to find that there were people in Paris who still believed that it might be possible for France to come to terms with Germany. He considered this totally impossible.

He also expressed the opinion that little or nothing could be achieved by Van Zeeland.

I gathered the general impression from a long conversation that Sir Eric has been instructed during his mission in Paris to prevent the French from having any tête-à-tête conversations with Germany, that the policy of Great Britain is still to keep the continent of Europe divided, that the determination of Great Britain to rearm as quickly and completely as possible is absolute and that little or nothing is to be expected from Great Britain in the way of support of the policy of reduction of barriers to international commerce and restoration of the economic life of the world.