740.0011 Pacific War/954

Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs ( Atcheson ) of a Conversation With the First Secretary of the British Embassy ( Hayter )

Mr. Hayter telephoned Mr. Atcheson at three o’clock this afternoon and stated that his Embassy had just received an urgent telegram from the British Foreign Office inquiring whether the United States was now in a state of war. The British Foreign Office desired this information in connection with the Prime Minister’s1 recent declaration indicating that Britain would declare war within one hour after the United States became at war. After referring this inquiry to the Secretary’s office, Mr. Atcheson telephoned to Mr. Hayter and stated that the Secretary had been informed of the inquiry and was on his way to the President and that we would get a reply to the British Embassy as soon as possible after the Secretary’s return.

Mr. Hayter stated that the information was urgently necessary so that the British could “get going”.

  1. Winston Churchill.