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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 393

inal of a letter which had been sent by the German Consul in Los
Angeles, Mr. George Gyesling, to about sixty members of the cast of
"The Road Back" now being made in Hollywood. This letter of the
German Consul, which he states is written under the direction of the
German Government, calls the attention of the individual actors in
the cast to the German law which states that any film in which an
actor has participated who has previously taken part in a film which
has been declared inimical to German interests, may not be granted
a permit for exhibition in Germany.
  I told Dr. Thomsen that this matter had been brought to our at-
tention, that I had discussed it with the Secretary and with Mr. Hack-
worth 2 and Mr. Ralph Hill 3 and that I had been directed to call the
matter to the attention of the Embassy here.
  I asked Dr. Thomsen whether it was true that the Consul in Los
Angeles was acting under the direction of the German Government
in writing this letter to the individual actors of the cast. He said
that that was true. I then told Dr. Thomsen that I was sure he
would agree in our opinion that the writing of such a letter to in-
dividuals in this country was to say the least highly inadvisable and
furthermore, in my own opinion, it was an activity which we decidedly
did not approve. The question of the availability of the film for
admission into Germany was a matter entirely between the German
Government and the film producing company. As far as the actors
were concerned, if the Consul were asked for any information with
regard to their participation in the film or the effect such part might
have upon any possible future career in Germany, it was perfectly
legitimate for a foreign Consul to give advice to such inquirers with
regard to the laws obtaining in his own country. I went on to say,
however, that the addressing of letters to individual actors with re-
gard to activities those Americans were carrying on in this country
and which had nothing whatever to do with nor any connection with
Germany as far as their present activities are concerned was entirely
uncalled for and was not within the proper functions of a foreign
consular officer.
  Dr. Thomsen said that he himself, when he saw the instructions of
his Government along these lines, had questioned the correctness of
such procedure and had in his own mind considered the effect of what
a similar action by American Consuls in Germany would be. He then
brought up the matter of what our Customs Inspectors and Treasury
representatives carry on in foreign countries. I immediately pointed
2 Green H. Hackworth, Legal Adviser.
3Assistant to the Legal Adviser.
982609-54  26

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