750A.62/1: Telegram

The Ambassador in Belgium (Gibson) to the Secretary of State

41. I learn in strictest confidence that Luxemburg recently sought to obtain from the German Government assurances similar to those given to Belgium as to respecting its integrity (my 83, October 13, 2 p.m., 193768). The German Government replied that it would consider the matter only if identic assurances were given by France.

Bech, the Luxemburg Foreign Minister, went to Paris to take up this phase of the matter. Paul-Boncour69 heaped reproaches on him for desiring German assurances as evidence of Luxemburg’s readiness to align itself with Nazi Germany and said that the desired assurances could be given only if Luxemburg recognized the right of France to enter the territory of the Grand Duchy to protect it against German invasion. Bech pointed out that any such undertaking would be merely an invitation to Germany to invade the country before France could get there, but he has not yet been able to secure any French assurances although some work is now being done on a tentative draft. From the same source I am told that the powerful Nazi organization in the Grand Duchy is operating with considerable success and that there is a decided growth of pro-Nazi feeling even among the more responsible elements.

  1. Not printed; see memorandum of October 13, by the Assistant Secretary of State, Foreign Relations, 1937, vol. i, p. 145.
  2. Joseph Paul-Boncour, French Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Cabinet headed by Léon Blum, March 13–April 10, 1938.