740.00119 European War 1939/476½: Telegram

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

3368. My 2960, July 15, 6 p.m.54 Responsible Government officials continue to stress the view that England should sue for peace and that it is foolhardy for it to attempt to withstand the forces that are about to be directed against Great Britain. Furthermore private individuals of various neutral nationalities are professing that they are receiving projects for peace in conversations with the highest German authorities but exclusive of Hitler himself and that they are attempting to or have succeeded in conveying those projects directly to prominent persons in England. The aforementioned Government officials insist on the point that the United States is encouraging the British Government to resist and the private individuals in question are prone to link their peace efforts with references to the importance of American mediation or intercession in a peace settlement.

In all these efforts conspicuous emphasis placed on the opportunity for peace talks which the last Reichstag speech is alleged to offer and all seem to be entirely impervious to the argument that it is difficult to characterize as a peace offer a statement wherein Hitler makes clear that although he professes no wish to destroy the British Empire he will proceed to that destruction unless the British Government [Page 47]accepts a peace which in the Nazi mind is termed reasonable but which to others tokens the ruin of that Empire as the immediate champion of democracy in the world.

In the meanwhile reports of projects of imminent action against the British Isles accumulate and the rumored date is set from one week end to another.

Kirk
  1. Not printed.