740.00113 European War 1939/439: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant)

4036. Your 4155, July 25, 5 p.m., 4181, July 27, 9 p.m., and 4293, August 1, 9 p.m. It seems to the Department that all of the governments of the United Nations should be urged to join in the declaration in the belief that action by all the United Nations would give importance to the declaration, assure better publicity and in general have a beneficial effect on morale. Moreover, if some nations are omitted, future events may necessitate their subscribing separately to the declaration later. However, it is recognized that the task of getting all the United Nations to join in the declaration might result in unnecessary delays. As a consequence, the Department, while favoring a joint declaration of all the United Nations, is willing to accept the [Page 77]position of the Foreign Office that the declaration be limited to those of the United Nations to whom the matter is of importance and who would have occasion to implement it.

The Department concurs in the suggestion that it should be a government declaration and not a declaration by Finance Ministers.

As for suggested verbal changes, it is felt that last part of the first paragraph would be improved if it read: “… of any description whatsoever which are or have been situated in territory occupied or controlled by Axis powers at any time since such occupation or control whether such transfers have taken the form of open loot and plunder or of purchases legal or apparently legal in form and purporting to be voluntarily effected.”

It is also suggested that the second paragraph would be improved if it read: “Neutral Governments are invited to take all possible steps to warn their nationals accordingly.”

This Government agrees that it is highly desirable to have such a joint declaration issued and you are authorized to approve such action on behalf of this Government, provided that the two points mentioned above are adequately provided for in the manner suggested or otherwise.

Please cable exact text of the declaration finally agreed upon before its publication in order that arrangements may be made for giving it adequate publicity in this country.