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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
(1937)

Germany,   pp. 319-405 PDF (32.6 MB)


Page 380


FOREIGN RELATIONS, 1937, VOLUME II
862.00/3696
- Memroranduqm by the Chief of the Division of European Affair&
                             (Moifat)
                                 [NVASHINGTON,] September 7, 1937.
  Dr. Thomsen the German Charge d'Affaires called at my office this
morning. He said that he had been highly perturbed to read the
press accounts of Doctor Dodd's attitude concerning the acceptance
by Mr. Gilbert of Hitler's invitation to attend the Nuremberg Con-
gress.82 He explained that he had as yet received no instructions on
the matter from his Government but felt that he would have to make
some sort of report and hoped that he might be able to prevent what
he feared would be an embarrassing situation. Of course if Dr. Dodd
had decided that he was not returning to Berlin it would be perfectly
normal for him to speak freely, but Dr. Dodd had said that he was
returning which put a different complexion on the matter. I said that
as far as I knew he was returning to Berlin. Dr. Thomsen went on
that speaking personally it was hard to see how he could usefully
go on with his mission,-that this was not the first occasion on which
he had expressed himself to the embarrassment of the Government
to which he was accredited: for instance, his letter of last Spring to
the Senators 83 was a case in point and some interviews he had given.
Dr. Thomsen could not help wondering what would be our attitude if
the roles were reversed and a German Ambassador accredited here
refused an invitation, or even counseled the refusal of an invitation
from the President, on the ground that he did not like his political
views.
  I replied that we had greatly regretted any publicity given in the
matter of our authorization to Gilbert to attend the Nuremberg Con-
gress; that we always worked on the theory that every one was free
to give what advice he pleased on the understanding that this was
confidential and that the final decision reached represented the Amer-
ican stand. This was the same principle followed in the British
Cabinet and in many other organizations. Mr. Gilbert's acceptance
of the invitation had been authorized and the basis on which the
decision was reached had no outside interest. Hence the less said
the sooner mended.
Ambassador Dodd is reported to have urged Secretary Hull to advise Mr.
Gilbert not to accept Hitler's invitation.
'3 Ambassador Dodd in a letter to Senator Carter Glass in support of the
Presi-
dent's plan to reorganize the Supreme Court cited several cases in history
when
the minority thwarted the majority's will. He said that there were men of
great
wealth in the United States who wished a dictatorship, and that there were
politicians who thought they might gain powers like those exercised in Europe.
There were no references In the letter to the German or any other foreign
government.
380


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