740.0011 European War 1939/20585a: Telegram
The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in Switzerland (Harrison)
769. With the approval of the President, the Department requests you to approach the Federal Political Department and inquire whether it would be disposed to convey informally a message to the representatives of Rumania, Hungary, and Bulgaria accredited to Bern, in the sense of the following text, or to undertake some other informal action through which the views outlined below may become known to the Governments of Rumania, Hungary, and Bulgaria.
“On December 12 in the case of Rumania and December 13 in the case of Hungary and Bulgaria the Governments of Rumania, Hungary, and Bulgaria notified this Government that a state of war exists between Rumania, Hungary and Bulgaria, respectively, and the United States. It was the view of this Government that the Governments of Rumania, Hungary and Bulgaria had been obliged to take this action under duress and at the instigation of other powers at war with the United States, and further that this action was contrary to the will of the majority of the peoples of the countries in question. Accordingly, the Congress of the United States has not made corresponding declarations of war against them, nor has the President issued proclamations in the matter.
“This Government has viewed with increasing concern the apparent intention of Rumania, Hungary, and Bulgaria to furnish material assistance to the enemies of the United States, and is constrained to assume that agreement has been given by them to participate actively and on a large scale in the war against the United States and the other United Nations. The President has, therefore, the intention of recommending to the Congress that it declare that a state of war exists between the United States and the Governments of Rumania, Hungary and Bulgaria, respectively, unless in some definite form these Governments severally give prompt evidence that they will not engage in military aid or operations of assistance to the Axis powers.
“The deep friendship of the people of the United States for the peoples of Rumania, Hungary and Bulgaria prompts this Government to endeavor to make known its views to the respective Governments, without at this time specifying the terms, or a time limit therefor, on which the further action of this Government would be conditioned.”
You may communicate the foregoing textually but informally to the Federal Political Department, expressing this Government’s appreciation of whatever consideration the Swiss Government may find that it can appropriately give to the matter.