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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1937. The British Commonwealth, Europe, Near East and Africa

Germany,   pp. 319-405 PDF (32.6 MB)

Page 374

from the -fact that this country had freedom of speech and of the
press, while Germany had neither; that recent events had demon-
strated one thing for certain, and that was, that nothing could be
more unwise than for our two Governments to allow themselves to
be drawn into this sort of a controversy; that my Government had
defined its attitude on March 5th, in response to a similar German com-
plaint; that that attitude was applicable now, as it would be until the
mayorality election in New York was over, provided the German
Government continued to make daily or periodical complaints, and
that in such event it was reasonably certain that politicians and others
in New York would find sufficient epithets of increasing strength and
offensiveness to continue over a period of months. I said that if the
German Government desired to make itself a tremendous factor in
electing high officials in the United States, it could easily do so by
cooperating with politicians who were candidates for office in the
manner that his Government was now proposing to cooperate-by tak-
ing serious notice of what individuals or candidates should say of an
objectionable nature and coming to the United States Government
with complaints; that I earnestly hoped the Ambassador could make
his Government see and clearly understand this situation and the
serious mistake it was making. I elaborated somewhat along these
lines and indicated to the Ambassador what the President had in mind
in connection with this present stage of the situation; also that the
President had been directing each of these utterances and actions by
the United States Government, beginning with the first German com-
plaint on March 4th; and I added that the President, as well as my-
self, was deeply anxious to preserve suitable relations between our
countries and our governments, but that it presented an impossible
situation when the German Government took seriously every objec-
tionable utterance of politicians and others of this country who were
not under the control of the Federal Government, and then added to
the repetition of such utterances by making complaints to this
  The statement, the substance of which I made known to the Ambas-
sador, was virtually what I am giving out today and of which a copy
is attached hereto.73 The Ambassador seemed pleased with this state-
ment and expressed himself as in accord with my ideas as to how
the whole matter should be dealt with. He repeatedly said that he
would do his very best to induce his Government to understand the
conditions and the viewpoint which I had expressed and hence to re-
frain from injecting the Government into such affairs as the La
Guardia affair.
                                               C[ORDELL] H[ULIJ
 "For statement, see Department of State, Press Releases, March 20,1937,
p. 157,

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