740.0011 European War 1939/3775: Telegram

The Chargé in Germany (Heath) to the Secretary of State

1843. My 1836, June 13, 4 p.m. Having been unable to reach the Under State Secretary at 2:30 I called, in accordance with the appointment I made during my telephone communication to him, on State Secretary Weizsaecker at 4:15 this afternoon and handed him a copy of a note embodying the substance of my telegram under reference and directly quoting the telephonic communication from Ambassador Bullitt which had been repeated by telephone to this Embassy by the American Legation at Bern.

Weizsaecker who showed plainly his displeasure at my insistence on delivering urgently the message to him received me in a very cold manner. He appreciated your message and said that he took no position with regard to the communication but he could point out several features: (1) that it was not a communication from my Government; (2) that it was not an official communication since it did not come from the French Government; (3) that the interposition of the American Ambassador at Paris in the circumstance was not clear. He added he could make numerous other comments such as the propriety of the action of the French General in question and in addition there were several points in the “message” which were not clear such as how the American Ambassador in Paris could act as representative of the Diplomatic Corps and the use of the phrase “the government of the city”. He inquired how the city of Paris could have a government.

After these comments he asked, “And what is the name of the Ambassador at Paris.” To my reply he said that it is a name “we have often heard of here.”

I informed the State Secretary that I had delivered the message without delay in view of Ambassador Bullitt’s statement to the American Legation at Bern that he was cut off from communication with the United States and because of the urgent character of the communication which prevented me from awaiting instructions from my Government as the protecting power for French interests.

He then repeated his former statement that he took no position as regards this communication and I stated that I had felt impelled to [Page 442] deliver it immediately in view of the interest of my Government in sparing civilians from unnecessary bombardment, a point of view which I understand his Government shared.