740.00/1936: Telegram

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

1034. I have just seen the Prime Minister. On the whole he is fairly optimistic about the outlook for the next 30 days. He is planning to go on vacation on August 5th and hopes to be away a reasonable length of time.

He told me he was sick and disgusted with the Russians and while he believes that the Russians are willing to continue talking without [Page 288] accomplishing anything his patience is exhausted. He told me he had a conversation with Prince Paul of Yugoslavia and Prince Paul was definitely of the opinion that if England did not consummate a deal with the Russians, Germany would. The Prime Minister said he does not feel there is any danger of that. He thinks that the Russians have made up their minds probably not to make a deal with anybody but to watch them all tear themselves apart.

There is nothing new on the situation in China but it does not look very pleasant at the moment.

Chamberlain is now convinced that Hitler is definitely aware that England proposes to fight if need be; he is not one of those who believes that Hitler is not most intelligent. On the contrary Chamberlain believes that Hitler is highly intelligent and therefore would not be prepared to wage a world war. He thinks that England’s movements, beginning with conscription and now the calling up of the reserves in the navy, have made a definite impression on Hitler and may cause him to change his mind about taking a gamble on a world war. He is not joyful over the prospects, but he is not unduly depressed.

With all the preparations that are going on for war and with all the seeming tension points all over Europe, there is still a belief that war can be averted. If that happens, we are witnessing the greatest and most expensive dress rehearsal that has ever taken place for a show that is never going to be produced.

He discussed the British political situation with me and I am writing a letter to the President today on this subject and will send a copy to you.29

  1. Not found in Department files.