Memorandum of Conversation, by the Under Secretary of State (Welles)

The British Ambassador13 called to see me this afternoon at his request. The Ambassador stated that Mr. Harold Butler,14 in accordance with the suggestion I had made to him, had spoken with Mr. Elmer Davis15 regarding the propaganda appearing in the American press recently clamoring for the creation of a Jewish army and criticizing the British Government for its failure to create such an army. Mr. Davis had apparently said to Mr. Butler that there didn’t seem to be anything very much that he could do about the matter inasmuch as no question of censorship was involved with regard to this problem. I said to Lord Halifax that of course I had never had the remotest idea of the exercise of censorship in this connection but that I had suggested to Sir Ronald Campbell16 that Mr. Butler discuss with the Office of War Information the best way in which the British Government could make known, through proper channels in this country, its own position with regard to the creation of a Jewish army and its own explanation as to what its policy had been in regard thereto up to the present time. I said furthermore that there were many Jewish leaders in this country who were opposed to the kind of propaganda that was going on and I had no doubt that they would welcome all the accurate information which could be given them regarding the policy which the British Government had pursued up to now.

S[umner] W[elles]
  1. Viscount Halifax.
  2. Minister, British Embassy.
  3. Director, Office of War Information.
  4. Minister, British Embassy.