Press Release Issued by the Department of State on June 19, 1940


The Secretary of State, Mr. Cordell, Hull, on June 17 instructed the American Charge at Berlin and the American Ambassador at Rome to send in writing to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany and to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Italy, respectively, the following communication in the name of the Government of the United States:

"The. Government of the United States is informed that the Government of France has requested of the German Government the terms of an armistice.

"The Government of the United States feels it desirable, in order to avoid any possible misunderstanding, to inform Your Excellency that in accordance with its traditional policy relating to the Western Hemisphere, the United States would not recognize any transfer, and would not acquiesce in any attempt to transfer, any geographic region of the Western Hemisphere from one non?American power to another non-American power. [55]

"I avail myself [etc.]" .

The Governments of France, Great Britain, and the Netherlands have been informed in the same sense.


[55] Subsequently the Senate and the House of Representatives adopted a joint resolution (55 Stat. 133) reading as follows:

Whereas our traditional policy has been to consider any attempt on the part of non-American powers to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to the peace and safety not only of this country but of the other American republics; and

Whereas the American republics agreed at the Inter American Conference for the Maintenance of Peace held in Buenos Aires in 1938. and at the Eighth International Conference of American States held in Lima in 1938 to consult with one another in the event that the peace, security, or territorial integrity of any American republic should be threatened; and

Whereas the Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the American Republics at Panama October 3, 1939, resolved "That in case any geographic region of America subject to the jurisdiction of any non-American state should be obliged to change its sovereignty and there should result therefrom a danger to the security of the American Continent, a consultative meeting such as the one now being held will be convoked with the urgency that the case may require"

Therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

(1) That the United States would not recognize any transfer, and would not acquiesce in any attempt to transfer, any geographic region of this hemisphere from one non?American power to another non-American power; and

(2) That if such transfer or attempt to transfer should appear likely, the United States shall, in addition to other measures, immediately consult with the other American republics to determine upon the steps which should be taken to safeguard their common interests.

Approved, April 10, 1941.


Source: U.S., Department of State, Publication 1983, Peace and War: United States Foreign Policy, 1931-1941 (Washington, D.C.: U.S., Government Printing Office, 1943), pp. 554-55


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