871.4016 Jews/97

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the Division of European Affairs (Moffat)

Mr. Babes, Rumanian Chargé d’Affaires called. He had two things in mind. The first was that although much publicity had been given to the reports of anti-Semitic excesses in Rumania, virtually no publicity had been given to the State Department’s letter10 pointing out that it could not intervene in the Rumanian picture. He said that the Congressional Record made the whole episode clear but that nobody read the Congressional Record.11

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He said that most Americans were fair-minded and wanted all the facts but that under present conditions the average citizen who relied on his daily papers was not in possession of all the facts.

Mr. Babes then started to discuss the situation in Europe and advanced the hypothesis, to which he was personally inclined to give credit, that Great Britain in a desire to break the Rome–Berlin axis had in a secret agreement given Germany her blessing to absorb Austria. He said that on the surface this would not seem consistent with Ribbentrop’s12 appointment as the latter was the spiritual father of the Rome–Berlin axis. On the other hand, Ribbentrop (like all good diplomats) was an opportunist and would willingly let go a small fish if he thought he could hook a larger one.

Pierrepont Moffat
  1. See letter of January 18 to Senator Pittman, p. 675.
  2. See Congressional Record, vol. 83, pt. 1, pp. 249 and 1073.
  3. Joachim von Ribbentrop, appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany February 4, 1938.