Memorandum, by the Secretary of State Regarding a Conversation With the German Ambassador (Dieckhoff), [Extracts], [WASHINGTON] September 28, 1938.

The Ambassador of Germany called on his own request. He said he came in only to let me know that he was back in Washington and at my disposal for the purpose of carrying on suitable relations between our two Governments. I thanked him.

I added that there are varying impressions as to when and whether his Government might change some of its basic policies under the operation of which his Government would not be interested in pursuing the general course of this Government; that some of these reports represent the head of the German Government as seeking general dominion by force; that I was not raising any question as to the truth or falsity of such reports, but only referring to the obstruction which they constitute to the restoration of confidence on the part of bankers and other business people who would ordinarily cooperate with German bankers and business people in a broad way. The Ambassador said he knew about these phases, and he hastily and almost parenthetically denied the world ambitions of Chancellor Hitler. He proceeded in a brief general sentence or two to say that Germany had a right to interests in the Balkan and Danubian countries and there was no ground on which it should be bottled up. I again made some reference to the question of acquiring dominion generally and in a broad way over territory, and he disclaimed as to territory but without explanation or argument. I said that it would be incomprehensible for Europe to commit suicide-all alike. The Ambassador then said that he had talked with Chancellor Hitler and he was taking a genuine interest in this country, its economic and industrial development and policies in particular.


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. 429-30

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