Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State

The Finnish Minister called and presented General Nenonen and Mr. Wahlfors, two purchasing agents from his country. He also offered me a memorandum32 regarding the proposed sale of military armaments by the War Department. I requested him to pass the memorandum on to Mr. Joseph C. Green33 here in the Department.

I then made clear to the Minister and his two associates the entire improbability of this Government selling arms, ammunition or implements of war to the Government of Finland. I said that I did not want them to be misled for a moment. They sought to bring up the technical law in the matter. I replied that wherever fighting was taking place and whatever it might be called in technical law, the one matter of concern in this country is that this Government does not engage in acts or utterances that might materially endanger its peace and safety by causing it to be drawn into war. In these circumstances, I stated that, in my opinion, it need not be expected that this Government would sell arms, ammunition and implements of war to the Government of Finland.34

C[ordell] H[ull]
  1. Not printed.
  2. Chief of the Division of Controls.
  3. See note of February 8 to the Finnish Minister, p. 287.