793.94 Conference/204: Telegram

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

267. Other than publishing disheartening reports on the Brussels Conference the German press has refrained from comment thereon except that today’s Volkischer Beobachter published the following under the heading “Destroyed Illusions?”:

“The Brussels Far Eastern Conference which is to present a commission as its sole concrete result has destroyed a series of political illusions.

In the first place all hope placed in Roosevelt and his strong words has disappeared. When the President of the United States a few weeks ago delivered a speech which was interpreted as the announcement of American interference on the Continent, various chanceries in Western Europe entered this fact in their diplomatic calculations. The British Foreign Minister Eden even went so far as to comment publicly on Roosevelt’s declaration whereby he welcomed an abandonment of the American policy of reserve with joyful hope. Eden’s phrase that he would go to the dark forests of Canada to accept American participation in European and continental problems clearly indicated how much in the eyes of western diplomats everything depended on the attitude of the United States.

Brussels practice, however, clearly showed what bounds were set for the American delegates. The disappointment here is so great that certain people still refuse to admit it. A few still raise a warning finger and declare there is still much to come; the American delegate had not yet fully unfolded his toga.”

The article continues that Russia has proved to be a great disappointment to the western democracies.

Reference to the Embassy’s telegram 26671 and the Department’s 115.72 Despite the fact that the denial of the Foreign Office relative to [Page 160] Germany’s mediation offer would appear to be categorical, the idea is held and freely discussed by party radicals in government positions whence it may have come to the attention of foreign correspondents. Such sources apparently envisage a stalemate at Brussels and that under these circumstances an invitation might be addressed to Germany possibly at Italy’s instance to mediate on the basis that Germany maintains particularly [friendly relations?] with both parties.

It is impossible to say how much of this is wishful thinking and how much may in reality be the groundwork for new international tactics. In this connection influential German authorities are encouraged in the hope that Great Britain, faced with the powers of the German, Italian, Japanese association might endeavor first to approach Germany as the most logical and easiest power with which to come to terms, the more particularly so if American support for British Empire interests does not extend in the British view beyond the moral sphere.

Repeated to Brussels for American delegation, copies by mail to London, Paris, Rome.

  1. Dated November 5, 8 p.m., vol. iii, p. 661.
  2. Dated November 5, 1 p.m., not printed.