Memorandum of Conversation, by the Under Secretary of State (Welles)

Mr. Butler of the British Embassy called on me this afternoon at the request of Lord Halifax.10

Mr. Butler first spoke of the great concern occasioned the Embassy by the announcement of the dinner which was to be held in Washington on April 30 under the aegis of Senator Wagner and some other equally prominent Senators and of Mr. William Green of the American Federation of Labor at which Doctor Weizmann is due to speak in behalf of the Zionist movement in Palestine. The British Embassy feels that German propaganda is now directed in the Arab world towards making it appear that the British Government is completely under the domination of the United States and that the United States would force Great Britain at the end of the war, if Great Britain is victorious, to open up all of Palestine to Jewish resettlement. The British Government believes that this is an exceedingly dangerous form of propaganda and that if speeches are now made in the United States by prominent persons high in the Government advocating the immediate opening up of Palestine to the Jewish resettlement planners in the event of a British victory, very great unrest will be created in the Arab world, particularly in Iraq, where a highly critical situation already exists. The British Government urged that the Executive branch of this Government do what it could to make this situation clear to the sponsors of the dinner.

I said that I would be very glad to look into the matter and that I would let Mr. Butler know in the immediate future what steps, if any, could be taken in that direction.

S[umner] W[elles]
  1. The Ambassador had called on the Secretary of State on April 19 regarding this pro-Jewish activity and had been told that it would be difficult to deal with the matter.