855.001 Leopold/6–2545: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Belgium (Sawyer)

542. Reurtel [Dept’s tel.] 531.82 Department greatly appreciates your thorough coverage of the present political crisis. We will continue to keep you informed promptly of any discussion or developments here which may affect the Belgian situation. In this connection [Page 130]there has been no occasion for Department to telegraph to London about Leopold. Department’s 531 June 22, gives substance of all conversations with British here concerning Meissner and Schmidt.83

Department has not tried to anticipate or discuss every type of request concerning Leopold’s transportation which may be made to the military authorities, beyond indicating to War Department the broad principle that we do not wish to become involved in a purely Belgian matter and hence would prefer not to transport Leopold beyond the frontier.

Department understands from British that King asked Presidents of Senate and Chamber about views of Allied governments. It is possible that President of Senate may make some approach to you to ascertain our views. You may reply in the sense of Department’s previous instructions that this Government remains entirely outside the controversy and regards problem as one for Belgians to settle.

Grew
  1. Not printed.
  2. Otto Meissner, former German Minister of State and Head of Presidential Chancellery, and Paul Otto Gustav Schmidt, former Chief of the Bureau of the Reich Foreign Minister, interpreter in diplomatic negotiations. The question discussed was the interrogation of these persons by Belgian officers regarding a conversation between King Leopold and Hitler at the Berghof on November 19, 1940; see Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918–1945, series D, vol. xi (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1949), p. 612.

    Accounts of this meeting by the King himself and by the former Belgian Ambassador to Germany, Vicomte Jacques Davignon, are printed in Recueil de documents établi par le Secrétariat du Roi concernant la periode 1936–1949, pp. 406–409.

    Additional documents relating to the investigation by Belgian officials in 1945 regarding this meeting between Hitler and King Leopold are printde ibid., pp. 409–429.