760F.62/170: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Kennedy ) to the Secretary of State

241. My 235, March 22, 8 p.m. and 231, March 21, 5 p.m.66 Lord Halifax told me today that he had a long interview late last night with the French Ambassador regarding the statement to be made in the House of Commons tomorrow by the Prime Minister. The British have about decided to say they will make no further commitments but they will insinuate that if France is drawn in they will be in too. Lord Halifax said that he thought the French were satisfied with this understanding.

Lord Halifax also told me that he had talked with the Italian Ambassador last night and today. He says that Mussolini is very sore over the Austrian matter and very anxious to make a deal with the British. I asked him if the Spanish situation would cause trouble and he said that of course there are still some hurdles to be taken but he is of the opinion that the Italians will not stand on the Spanish impasse as a method of breaking off the negotiations. Halifax realizes, and said so, that the British know they must bring in a successful negotiation with Italy to save their political faces and they are going to make every effort.

Are you and the President getting all the confidential information which the Foreign Secretary agreed with me on my arrival here would be made available, covering all British movements of importance in different parts of the world? We discussed the matter again today and he said that instructions have been given to the Foreign Office that confidential information for the use of the President and yourself regarding important British moves should be made available not only here but in their missions abroad also. If you are not getting this information satisfactorily, let me know. I understand that Lord Perth is keeping Ambassador Phillips fully informed of the details of the Anglo-Italian conversations in Rome.

Kennedy
  1. Neither printed.