188. For the Minister. Your 325, October 9,11 a.m. and Gilbert's 448, October 8, 4 p.m. Reports from you and other sources evidence an intention of the League to ask non-League countries to participate in the consideration of the problem of sanctions. We, of course, are not as qualified as others to know whether other non-member states are willing or unwilling to so participate. For ourselves it should be more and more clear that we have used all our influence and support for the preservation of peace; that now we take the position that we are determined that war shall not involve us; that in pursuance of this policy we will not overlook any possible step that would be consistent with our position.
Considering our policy as evidenced by what we have already done and said, with the complete support of American public opinion, we regard it advisable in every respect for the League to understand that definite measures have already been taken by the United States in accordance with our own limitations and policies; that these measures include long steps in restricting commercial and financial transactions with the belligerents; and that we desire to follow our course independently according as circumstances develop. Our course and attitude should be indicated by these measures. With this in mind, it would appear not only unnecessary but at this time inadvisable from the viewpoint of this government to invite us to join in any committee organized to consider sanctions.
It would be useful if you would inform orally and with great discretion the
Secretary General and any other appropriate delegation of the sense of the above.
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. 283
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