740.0011 European War 1939/33031/3

The British Ambassador (Lothian) to the Secretary of State

Dear Mr. Hull: I have received an urgent telegram from my Government which instructs me to make an appeal to the President on behalf of the British and French Governments to make a final approach to Signor Mussolini in the hope of preventing him entering the war in the next few days, which would in the view of the French Government be an appalling blow for France. The suggestion is that the President should ask Mussolini what his reasons are for being on the brink of entering the war against the Allies; I say that the President would be prepared to communicate the Italian claims to the Allied Governments with a view to seeing whether a last minute agreement could not be reached. In view of the urgency of the matter, I am arranging to see the President this evening and shall be at your disposal any time tonight or tomorrow should you desire to see me.

Yours sincerely,