550.AA1/25: Telegram

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

76. Our 75, April 19, 6 p.m. Local press describes Lansbury conversation variously, several newspapers limiting themselves to brief statement of deal with Hitler, others adding that Lansbury submitted proposals for a new world conference to prevent war and for universal cooperation and that “as many times before the Chancellor emphasized in this conversation that Germany would not exclude itself from any promising international cooperation.”

Our informant mentioned in our telegram under reference and the other foreign correspondents I gather are somewhat mystified by the fact that the entire Lansbury statement was not given to the local press and that neither the Foreign Office Press Division nor the Economics Ministry apparently had any information on the subject. I am reliably informed that the visit was arranged by Ribbentrop13 in London whose associates here took charge of Lansbury during his stay. My American correspondent informant is inclined to believe that this accounts for the present confusion being personally convinced that Lansbury from whom he got the statement directly was accurately reporting Hitler.

The semi-official DNB14 who are responsible for the various versions in the local press described above apparently started out with a brief statement of the fact of Lansbury’s conversation with Hitler, then developed the story further as I have mentioned and indicated to some correspondents the responsibility that the full details as reported to you in our 75 would come out today through the DNB London correspondent. According to another version local distribution is being overshadowed temporarily by celebrations of Hitler’s birthday.

Repeated by telegram to London, Paris, Rome.

  1. Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Ambassador to the United Kingdom.
  2. Deutsches Nachrichtenbüro.