The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Kennedy) to the Secretary of State
[Received August 29—7:35 p.m.]
2952. Have just seen Churchill and Halifax. Churchill has omitted the subject which I have discussed in my 2948, August 29, 7 p.m., and says he will leave the matter open. England will handle her politics in the manner which she thinks best and the United States will [Page 73]of course handle hers in her own way. I think this is much the better way but I do believe that it is important that the President get his statement and sign first in order that the direction of Churchill’s remarks will be more or less channeled.
I think that they are inordinately happy about the result and feel that the President has obtained something for his country that not even the remote possibility of a war between the two countries would have accomplished. As he says, it puts a ring of steel around the United States that it would be impossible for Germany to penetrate and what could the President of the United States accomplish for his country greater than this? And no matter what criticism may be leveled at the giving of a few destroyers, the President can very properly say: “At least I have conducted the affairs of this country in such a manner that it has been possible to obtain these important bases for 99 years with no real loss of anything worth while to America.”