The Minister in Norway ( Harriman ) to the Secretary of State
[Received April 17—2:23 p.m.]
15. I saw the Foreign Minister this morning and unofficially gave him the text of the President’s message contained in Department’s telegram 265, April 14.15 Koht stated that he was very glad the President had taken this statesmanlike step which at least would bring Mussolini and Hitler into the open. He was positive, however, that their answer would be equivalent to no. He was very pessimistic as to the future as well as his conviction that since the last Czechoslovak crisis nothing could avert war. It was just a question of a few months of the present so-called peace before the catastrophe.
In commenting on current discussion that England and France in the event of war would lose unless the United States sent troops in addition to giving them full economic support, the Foreign Minister expressed the opinion that troops would not be necessary for the reason that a blockade would starve Germany out. Germany had suffered terribly last time and this time she would start in much worse condition than before.