811.659 Helium/111: Telegram
The Ambassador in Germany (Wilson) to the Secretary of State
[Received April 21—2:29 p.m.]
190. Eckener26 came to see cablegrams in respect to the helium situation. I told him something of your telegram No. 45, April 20, 4 p.m., including the quotation attributed to Mr. Ickes.
Eckener said that he thought he understood the matter, he had received the greatest kindness at the hands of the President and various members of the Cabinet. Nothing could have been friendlier than their treatment of him after the Hindenburg disaster. But he noticed that the new law was promulgated immediately after the Austrian Anschluss27 and he felt that interests in the United States opposed to Zeppelin competition have been able to work with an outraged public opinion and that therefore the decision had been made “to show the Nazis a measure of disapproval”. He hoped that this hostile feeling would gradually subside, but even if permission were obtained tomorrow to ship helium the Zeppelin could not fly until August and he feared this whole summer was wasted. As he remarked, he was 70 years old and hoped to live to see the American-German service really established.
If you have anything that I can tell Eckener personally please advise me.