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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 379

an acceptance extended by the head of state to a chief of a diplomatic
mission. The note from the Foreign Office obviously solves this prob-
lem. It is clearly evident to us that the stipulation in the note which
I have cited was "negotiated" by the British and French with the
Foreign Office to meet that difficulty.
  We have refrained from -approaching the Foreign Office in any
way in the matter or of discussing our possible action with my col-
leagues. We have, nevertheless, noted three chief preoccupations
entertained by -all of our colleagues who have expressed themselves in
this connection:
  (1) -The established usage rendering it virtually incumbent upon
a representative present in the country to accept an invitation from
the head of a state to which he is accredited.
  (2) In this case, in view of the apparently possible unanimous
acceptance, a refusal on the part of a representative might place him
in the position of being the sole exception or perhaps of being in the
public view unwarrantably associated with some other power in such
  (3) A refusal might invoke retaliatory action of a similar char-
acter on the part of the German representative in the state concerned.
  We note'the Department's desire to have us deal with the situation
in the light of its local and international implications with the mini-
mum of embarrassment to the Government (Department's 95, August
23 [13], 4 p. iM.79). Responsive to this and having in mind the pre-
occupations indicated above we have given the matter most careful
consideration. As a result I have today transmitted a formal accept-
ance for the minimum period, i. e. that selected by the British and
French described above. Whether any other representatives will ac-
cept under the same terms I am unable to say.
  As of more general interest the British Ambassador took care to
impress on us that in this he was not acting in any way jointly with
the French. 'He asserted that while there must be solidarity with
France in the West the British could not undertake common action
with France in the East and that the principal fundamental policy was
that all British-German relations must be independent and'bilateral.
Henderson 80 is now here. It is evident that this is his-personal policy
which he will endeavor to carry out. He nevertheless spoke of "diffi-
culties" with London and whether this represents considered British
policy may be a different matter. On the other hand Poncet81 en-
deavored to convey the impression that in the Nuremberg matter and
by inference in a more general sense British and French policy was
'Not printed.
   Nevile Henderson, British Ambassador to Germany.
 1ndr6 Francois-Poncet, French Ambassador to Germany.

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