710. Consultation (2)/144: Telegram

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

2293. Department’s No. 1652, June 17, 11 a.m., and my No. 2074, June 24, 6 p.m. There follows the translation of a note dated July 1 which was received this afternoon from the Foreign Office:

“Mr. Chargé d’Affaires.

“In your communication of June 18, No. 1176, you stated on behalf of your Government that it would not recognize any transfer of a geographic region of the Western Hemisphere from one non-American power to another non-American power and would not acquiesce in an attempt at such a transfer. I have the honor to reply to you as follows.

“The Reich Government is unable to perceive for what reason the Government of the United States of America has addressed this communication to the Reich Government. In contrast with other countries [Page 496] especially in contrast with England and France, Germany has no territorial possessions on the American Continent and has given no occasion whatever for the assumption that it intends to acquire such possessions. Thus as far as Germany is concerned the communication addressed to the Reich Government is without object (gegenstandlos).

“In this case it may also be remarked that the interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine implicit in the communication of the Government of the United States would amount to conferring upon some European countries the right to possess territories in the Western Hemisphere and not to other European countries. It is obvious that such an interpretation would be untenable. But apart from this the Reich Government would like to point out again on this occasion that the nonintervention in the affairs of the American Continent by European nations which is demanded by the Monroe Doctrine can in principle be legally valid only on condition that the American nations for their part do not intervene (einmischen) in the affairs of the European Continent.

“I also avail myself of this opportunity to assure you Mr. Chargé d’Affaires of my most distinguished consideration. (Signed Ribbentrop)”54

  1. Secretary Hull did not answer Ribbentrop’s note as he believed no useful purpose would be served by further exchange of views with him. But in reference to the note Secretary Hull did make a public statement on July 5, for text of which see Department of State Bulletin, July 6, 1940, p. 3.