740.0011 European War 1939/19354

Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State (Berle) to the Secretary of State

Mr. Secretary: I telephoned the President today in respect of the St. Lawrence Waterway. While on the telephone I told him that we had news that Thailand had declared war;6 but that you had approved the policy of ignoring the matter. The President said he cordially agreed.

He then said that he thought it would be a good idea if you were to write a note to the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate and the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House,7 stating quite briefly that the Department had been informed that declarations of war on the United States had been made by Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria8 and Thailand; and that no action appeared to be required.

I said I would pass the suggestion along. The President’s idea was that this would merely complete the record and treat the declarations with the contempt they deserved.

A. A. B[erle], Jr.
  1. January 25; for official notification, see telegram No. 350, February 2, from the Chargé in Switzerland, p. 915.
  2. Letters of February 7 to Senator Tom Connally and Representative Sol Bloom not printed.
  3. Hungarian and Bulgarian declarations made on December 13, 1941; Rumanian declaration on December 12, 1941.