740.0011 European War 1939/8580: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Yugoslavia (Lane)

30. Having read your 115, February 18, 8 p.m., the President wishes you to seek an immediate audience with the Prince Regent and to state the following:

“I am addressing this message to Your Royal Highness with a view to emphasizing the interest of the United States in the outcome of the war. I fully appreciate the difficult and vital problems facing you and the Yugoslav Government, but I most earnestly wish to point out that the United States is looking not merely to the present but to the future. I wish to convey to you my feeling that the world in general regards with very real sympathy any nation which resists attack, both military or diplomatic, by the predatory powers.

The examples of Abyssinia, China and Greece are in point. Abyssinia won world sympathy by a brief though unsuccessful resistance—and Abyssinia will be restored.

China seemed capable of making no resistance in the modern sense of the word—but after 4 years China is still resisting and has the sympathy of the world—with an excellent chance of being reconstituted in her independence in some way at some date.

The Greek cause looked completely hopeless in view of an Italian army and air force of overwhelming proportions. The cause of Greek independence will win in the end.

The rear guard action fought by Norway for 2 or 3 months means that all of us will work for the restoration of Norwegian independence.

I am convinced that our type of civilization and the war in whose outcome we are vitally interested will be definitely helped by resistance on the part of the nations which suffer from aggression.”