Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State

The French Ambassador called on his own request. He really had very little to say in addition to what he said to Messrs. Moffat and Messersmith on yesterday. He covered about the same ground but sought to prolong his inquiry about whether this Government was undertaking any secret communication with Berlin or Prague looking towards the encouragement of peace. I made it definite that this Government is not saying anything secretly either to Berlin or Prague relative to the pending controversy and crisis; that my Government has already said and done any and everything within its policy that it feels would be in the least helpful in preserving and promoting peace; that that is the situation up to this date; that, naturally, this Government is observing with the keenest interest developments from day to day as they involve the question of peace or its alternative. The Ambassador did not seem surprised but proceeded repeatedly to express the thanks of his Government for the interest and the activities of this Government in behalf of peace.

I inquired whether the reports that Germany had greatly outdistanced both France and Great Britain in the production of military airplanes were correct and if so why. The Ambassador did not controvert this point but said that the airplane program in his country [Page 599] and the agency handling it had broken down sometime ago and hence their difficulties and delays. I inquired whether, in his opinion, Germany was depending on her superior airplane equipment primarily to win any war she might embark upon, and the Ambassador replied that in his opinion, she was. I then inquired whether, in his judgment, Germany could by its destructive effects on cities like Paris and London, from the air, force France and Great Britain into submission. The Ambassador said that this could not be done; that tremendous damage and injuries, of course, would result, but that aircraft attacks alone could not win a war.

C[ordell] H[ull]