WASHINGTON (Dec. 15)
The United States Government, in a third note to the German Government, described by the State Department as very important in the history of dealings with the Reich, has demanded assurance of the protection of American Jew’s rights in view of recent anti-Semitic decrees, Acting Secretary Sumner Welles revealed today.
The note, delivered to the German Foreign Office yesterday by Prentiss Gilbert, Charge D’Affaires of the American Embassy, points out that German nationals are not discriminated against in the United States and asserts that Washington will not countenance the arbitrary dividing of American citizens in the Reich into special classes.
Similar representations made to the Italian Government on Oct. 5 regarding the rights of American Jews in Italy were widely interpreted as a threat of reprisal against Italians in the United States and brought from Rome a promise of leniency of application of the Fascist decrees to American nationals.
The latest note to Berlin was made public at a press conference today by Mr. Welles, who said the United States had been trying since May 9 to obtain assurances of protection of American rights. Mr. Welles yesterday revealed that a reply to a previous note had been received but would not be made public until it had been studied by the State Department. Apparently the German reply had proved far from satisfactory, however, since it was followed by the transmission of a sharper note to Berlin.
The text of the note follows:
“I have been instructed by my Government to express its disappointment that Your Excellency’s Government has not as yet conveyed the assurance which my Government felt confident would be received concerning non-discriminatory treatment in Germany of American citizens without exception based on race or creed.
“The attention of Your Excellency’s Government was expressly invited to this matter in Mr. Wilson’s note of May 9, 1938, and my Government’s concern, and its desire for the assurances sought there in have been reiterated on several occasions, in communications to your Excellency’s Government.
“My Government is concerned with the provisions of the decree laws, which if made applicable to American citizens would have the effect of arbitrarily dividing them into special classes and subject them to differential treatment on the basis of such classification
“It is one of the fundamental principles of my Government to make no distinction between American citizens on the base of race or creed, and uniformly in its relations with foreign nations it has emphatically declined the right of those nations to apply on their part such discrimination as between American citizens.
“This principle, furthermore, is applied by my Government to nationals of foreign countries residing in the United States, including Germans.
“The application to American citizens of the measures referred to would be incompatible with this principle.
“My Government believes, therefore that upon further consideration, Your Excellency’s Government will decide that American citizens will not be discriminated against in Germany on account of race or creed, and that they will not be subjected to provisions of the nature of those embodied in the decree laws in question.”