840.48 Refugees/1347: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom ( Johnson ) to the Secretary of State

100. From Myron Taylor. Embassy’s 72, January 19, 1 p.m.25 Returning from Paris yesterday morning I fulfilled my engagement with the Prime Minister and conveyed the President’s message regarding Angola.26 The Prime Minister exhibited the fullest interest and undertook to support an examination through Lord Winterton and the essential Cabinet officers (1) as to the action referred to in your message as having been taken by the Portuguese Government in 1912 in passing on a Jewish colonization bill concerning Angola, (2) of the suitability of the territory for colonization so far as present British Government information exists, and (3) to consider an approach to Portugal through diplomatic or other channels in which Great Britain and our Government would collaborate.

The Prime Minister spoke in highest praise of the President’s and the Secretary’s pronouncements regarding world peace and expressed [Page 75] the hope that they would continue along similar lines. He feels that the man in the street, as indicated to him in Italy, Paris and London, is wholeheartedly behind the peace efforts.

I reviewed the refugee conversations in Berlin by Rublee and Pell with Schacht and Goering and the direction by the Intergovernmental office at the Paris meeting that they return to Berlin to continue the conversations with Goering’s appointee on Wednesday. I expressed the satisfaction of our Government with the support that the Prime Minister had accorded the Intergovernmental Committee in locating its office in London and providing a British chairman, paid a compliment to Lord Winterton which pleased the latter to whom I communicated it and whom I am to meet today on the question of reorganization of the office on Rublee’s retirement. We have already agreed tentatively that the Intergovernmental Committee would meet on February 13 in London, at which time Rublee will report and his retirement will be announced. The officers will meet on February 12 to consider Rublee’s report on the present visit to Berlin and to prepare an agenda for the full meeting the day following. Meantime we are allowing ample opportunities to discuss the whole position with the British and to confer with you.

In conclusion I may observe that the atmosphere both at Paris and here is charged with grave uncertainty. I had a considerable talk with Bonnet,27 Bérenger28 and others of the French Government and here with the individuals above mentioned as well as others with whom I have been in communication, including the Rothschilds and I must say my own faith in the possibility of a peaceful solution of these many problems spread over a large field is stronger than that of any with whom I have talked. The events immediately following a Franco victory at Barcelona may give an indication of Italian aims and the extent of any German support in a Mediterranean disturbance. There are, however, other dangers apart from that which must not be overlooked.

Both the British and the French are extremely anxious that our Government put our private producers in a position “to sell” (as the French put it) war materials to them in case of need. Otherwise their situation becomes more difficult. Germany has apparently filled Skoda with orders for war materials, a lamentable consequence of the Munich settlement and incidentally weakening the Chinese [Czechoslovak?] and indirectly the French position. [Myron Taylor.]

  1. Not printed.
  2. See telegram No. 40, January 14, 3 p.m., to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom, p. 66.
  3. Georges Bonnet, French Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  4. Henri Bérenger, French representative on the Intergovernmental Committee.