740.00113 European War 1939/592: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Matthews) to the Secretary of State

7346. Referring to Embassy’s 6797, December 1, 8 p.m. [midnight] and 7121, December 15, 10 p.m. It is hoped that the declaration on [Page 88]transfers of property in enemy occupied territory can be made very early in January. As Parliament will be in a recess at that time it will not be possible for Eden to make the announcement in the House of Commons as originally planned.

In accordance with the agreement reached at the meeting on November 27 (see section 3 of Embassy’s 6797, December 15 [1]) the Foreign Office has prepared a draft instruction to British representatives in countries of the United Nations and neutral countries. A brief summary of this instruction follows:

British diplomatic representatives in Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and ban Salvador will communicate the declaration at least 24 hours before its publication. They will explain that they have been instructed to do so on behalf of and at the request of all the parties to the declaration and they will express the hope of all the parties that the governments to whom they are making the communication will make some public statement associating themselves with, and expressing willingness to cooperate in giving effect to, the principles of the declaration.
British diplomatic representatives in Afghanistan, the Argentine, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Iraq, Liberia, Paraguay, Persia, Peru, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Uruguay, and Venezuela will be instructed to communicate the declaration on behalf of, and at the request of, the parties concerned, to the governments in each case as a matter of courtesy and “a titre d’ information” as some of their nationals might be affected, but not so long before publication as to incur any risk of premature disclosure and anticipatory reaction by the enemy.

The British diplomatic representatives will also be instructed that the parties to the declaration would prefer that the communication be made as formal as possible, but they will be given discretion as to the form and manner in which they make the communication provided they keep in mind that the main object is to induce the governments concerned to take note of the declaration.

The British diplomatic representatives in the countries covered in both (1) and (2) will all be instructed to inform in advance their colleagues concerned of the action which they propose to take in carrying out their instructions. They will also be given the text of the “note of guidance for the press” (section 4 of Embassy’s 6797, December 1) to be used at their discretion.

If the Department has any comments or suggestions on the above it will be appreciated if they can he sent to us as soon as possible.