793.94 Conference/238½: Telegram

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

1589. For the President and the Acting Secretary only. My No. 1588, November 10, 4 p.m. Chautemps throughout his remarks to me was talking with a deadly seriousness.

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I concur in Chautemps’ opinion that it is unwise for us to say anything unless we intend to back up all the implications of our words with an extremely big stick.

The idea that he put forth tentatively that the United States might announce that it would act against an aggressor seems to me both impossible constitutionally and contrary to our interests.

It also seems to me most undesirable for us to intervene in any spectacular manner such as by invitation to heads of governments to visit the United States or a visit of the President to Europe. Such spectacular actions might be desirable in case there were in existence an agreement already reached which it was desired to have launched with the utmost pomp.

I can see no objection, however, to an attempt by our Government to produce a reconciliation between France and Germany by the use of diplomatic channels in the first instance and perhaps public action later.

It is, of course, obvious that nothing can be done in this sense so long as our Ambassador in Berlin is cut off from real diplomatic contacts in Germany. I venture to express the hope, therefore, that the appointment of Hugh Wilson as Ambassador in Berlin may not be long delayed.

I am doubtful that even the best of Ambassadors in Berlin, receiving whatever support I can give him from Paris, can do much; but I agree with Chautemps entirely in his belief that unless a reconciliation between France and Germany can be brought about, war in Europe is certain; and I agree with his conviction that the United States alone might be of real assistance in bringing about such a reconciliation.