Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State (Welles)

The Turkish Ambassador made a courtesy call upon me this afternoon. After the preliminaries had been concluded, the Ambassador asked me what my impressions were of the world situation and whether I shared his belief that no outbreak of war in Europe was imminent in the near future. I told the Ambassador that it was of course difficult to assume to make any prophecies in view of the many complexities in the situation but that I hoped and believed that his estimate was accurate and that I individually felt increasing ground for optimism during recent weeks. The Ambassador then commented upon the Mussolini interview23 and I said to him that it had given me very great satisfaction to be able to voice the encouragement which this Government had been afforded by the public declaration made by the head of the Italian Government that he shared and supported the policy of the United States in moving towards an elimination of trade barriers for the restoration of world trade as an indispensable prerequisite to the assurance of world peace. I said that we had all been greatly encouraged in recent months by statements in the same sense made by responsible officials of foreign governments and that I felt that an increasing number of statements of this character made by the heads of the world powers would have a highly salutary effect. I added that it seemed to me that all responsible statesmen today would have to recognize the full measure of their responsibilities and that all governments must publicly announce their belief in the necessity of the reduction of economic and military armament in order that a proper psychology might be created which would result in practical and effective measures towards those ends.

The Ambassador said that he was entirely in accord and that he believed that his Government would share his point of view.

S[umner] W[elles]
  1. See telegram No. 244, May 25, noon, from the Ambassador in Italy, p. 655.