Four months after the
State Department confirmed the dimensions
of the Holocaust
, British Foreign Secretary
Anthony Eden met in Washington with President
, Secretary of State Cordell Hull
and Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles.
At this meeting, Eden expressed his fear
might actually accept an offer
from the Allies to move Jews out of areas
under German control. No one present objected
to Eden's statement.
Subject: Eden Visit--Conference
with the President, Anthony Eden, Cordell
Hull, Sumner Welles, Viscount Halifax, Mr.
Hull raised the question of the 60 or 70 thousand Jews
that are in Bulgaria and are threatened with extermination
unless we could get them out and, very urgently, pressed
Eden for an answer to the problem. Eden replied that
the whole problem of the Jews in Europe is very difficult
and that we should move very cautiously about offering
to take all Jews out of a country like Bulgaria. If
we do that, then the Jews of the world will be wanting
us to make similar offers in Poland and Germany. Hitlermight well take us up on any such offer and there,
simply are not enough ships and means of transportation
in the world to handle them.
Eden said that the British were ready to take about
60 thousand more Jews to Palestine but the problem
of transportation, even from Bulgaria to Palestine
is extremely difficult. Furthermore, any such mass movement
as that would be very dangerous to security because
the Germans would be sure to attempt to put a number
of their agents in the group. They have been pretty
successful with this technique, both in getting their
agents into North and South America.
Eden said that the forthcoming conferences in Bermudaon the whole refugee problem must come to grips with
this difficult situation.
Eden said he hoped that on our side we would not make
too expansive promises which could not be delivered
because of lack of shipping.
There was a general discussion about the organization
of the United Nations after the war. The President
and Welles were very emphatic that the United States
could not be a member of any independent regional body
such as a European Council; they felt that all theUnited
Nations should be members of one body for the purposes
of recommending policy; that this body should be world-wide
2. That there would be under this body regional councils
with similar advisory powers made up of the nations
geographically located in the regions; but, finally,
that, the real decisions should be made by the United
States, Great Britain, Russia and China, who would
be the powers for many years to come that would have
to police the world.
The President was very insistent with Eden that China
should be a member, altho it was clear to me that Eden
still was not convinced of the wisdom of the procedure.
The President feels that China, in any serious conflict
of policy with Russia, would undoubtedly line up on
I said that Churchill's speech in which he advocated
a purely European Council of Nations, had a very unfortunate
effect over here. Eden said he was sure Churchill had
not meant to exclude the United States and that he
rather felt that Churchill spoke on the spur of the
moment and that he, Eden, agreed that the United Nations
should be organized on a global basis.
The whole idea of the trusteeship of mandated islands,
etc. was discussed and the President and Eden seemed
to be much closer together than they were at the beginning
of their conferences on this policy.
The President made it clear that he did not want a
commitment made in advance that all those colonies
in the Far East should go back to the countries which
owned or controlled them prior to the war. He specifically
mentioned Timor, Portugal, Indo-China and France. He
suggested that all the specific problems which Mr.
Eden had raised in his visit here be referred to the
State Department and they asked to start exploratory
discussions with the British or with any other country
in regard to all of them.
I said I thought it would have a, very bad effect,
both in England and the United States, if the world
got the impression that the United States and England
were, together, planning the future of the world without
consulting anyone else. Eden agreed to this and said
the British were conducting direct conferences on matters
that concerned them and Russia and lie assumed we would
do the same thing.
H[ARRY] L. H[OPKINS]