740.0011 European War 1939/34875/10: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Kennedy) to the Secretary of State

1579. I have just seen the Prime Minister and words fail me in repeating what he thinks of Mussolini, but he looks forward to a degree of ferocity from him in the near future that is beyond anyone’s imagination. He is quite hopeful that the French will not quit. He thinks the attack will now come against England and for that reason he is loath to give up any of his men, air force or equipment that will assist England in carrying on the war. He still is pleading for destroyers, and I should judge from his conversation that he believes that with the bombing of well known places in England the United States will come in. He assured me that as long as he lived the British Fleet will not be handed over to the Germans, but of course it is possible some other government, the Moseley45 government for instance, might turn over anything that Hitler wanted in order to save England from destruction. England definitely wants a moral uplift and it looks to me that they feel the only way they could get it would be by a declaration of war by America even though nobody can point out just where America would fight the battle. The British public up to the declaration [Page 36]tonight45a are still ignorant of how terrible the situation is, in fact we had a hundred cancellations on the Washington today because people thought things were looking better. Needless to say the rush is on again tonight.

  1. Sir Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists.
  2. Declaration of war by Italy against France and the United Kingdom.