741.61/756: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Kennedy) to the Secretary of State

942. My 936, July 3, 8 p.m.22 I have just talked with Halifax. They have just prepared another reply for Russia which they have today submitted to the French for approval. The British have agreed to accept the refusal of Russia to guarantee Holland and Switzerland. They refused to accept an additional Russian demand that the Baltic States be guaranteed against “indirect aggression”. Halifax is at a loss to understand what “indirect aggression” means. If this is not agreeable to the Russians, they will suggest reverting to the original three-power pact.

It is plain to see, after talking to Halifax, that the Russian agreement, aside from its psychological value, is really a negative agreement rather than a positive one. In other words they would like to tie up Russia so that there is no possibility of the Russians considering a deal with Germany. He told me he had talked with the Finnish Minister23 this afternoon and tried to persuade him that [Page 283] the procedure of guarantee should not be an annoyance to Finland, but the Finnish Minister was too polite to argue with him, just smiled and acted as if he did not believe one word of it and Halifax said he did not blame him.

The Tientsin situation is getting much worse. They look for more trouble in Tientsin and a bad situation for the negotiations in Tokyo. Halifax is of the opinion that before long they must start to withdraw from Tientsin.

As far as the Polish and Danzig situation is concerned, there is nothing new. (My 931, July 1, 2 p.m.).24 They are going to continue to air every sort of rumor in the press for two reasons: one, to get people used to this type of warfare and the other to keep Germany denying it. Halifax is of the belief that England appearing stronger all the time is having an effect in Germany.

He is not as concerned as a great many others are at the failure of the passage of the Neutrality Act in America. He thinks that as long as the papers say that America will act if there is trouble and that is brought to the front, that will be satisfactory.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Georg Achates Gripenberg.
  3. Not printed.