740.00119 European War 1939/2090

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State

The British Ambassador called at his request and handed me the text of a telegram addressed to him by Mr. Eden on the matter of German peace feelers, a copy of which is hereto attached. I thanked him very sincerely and expressed keen interest, but discounted its purported importance.

C[ordell] H[ull]

Text of a Telegram From Mr. Eden to Viscount Halifax Dated December 31st, 1943

On December 22nd the Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs28 informed His Majesty’s Ambassador,29 after emphasizing that he was giving the information privately as news and not in any sense as a communication from his Government, that he had received the following information from the Roumanian Minister at Ankara30 who had had it from the Roumanian Minister for Foreign Affairs.31

The German Minister in Bucharest32 had called in uniform on the Roumanian Minister for Foreign Affairs a few nights previously and, while the latter took notes, made a statement to the following effect:
Germany is prepared to accept peace on the following terms:
Surrender of fleet, submarines, merchant fleet and Air Force.
Complete military disarmament.
Evacuation of all occupied territories.
Undertaking never to ask for return of colonies.
Europe to be organized according to the wishes of the Allies.
The only condition asked for by Germany is economic freedom thereafter but this is to be arranged as found suitable by the Allies.
The Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs had informed the Roumanian Minister that he flatly refused to pass this communication on to His Majesty’s Ambassador or to have anything to do with it. He even urged His Majesty’s Ambassador not to pass it on to me lest I might interpret his action as an attempt to find a way out as regards Turkey coming into the war.
Please inform the Government to which you are accredited, adding that I find it difficult to take this story seriously and am passing it on merely à titre d’information. The only action I am taking is to instruct His Majesty’s Ambassador at Ankara to report any developments that may throw light upon it.
  1. Numan R. Menemencioğlu.
  2. Hughe M. Knatchbull-Hugessen.
  3. Alexander Cretzianu.
  4. Mihai A. Antonescu.
  5. Manfred von Killinger.