231 Mr R. G. Casey, Minister to the United States, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 77 WASHINGTON, 11 May 1940, 8.45 p.m.

IMMEDIATE MOST SECRET

Long talk with Berle [1] today. The invasion of the Netherlands and Belgium will not bring the United States into the war but it is another stage in the crystallization of American public opinion against Germany. It is believed that Italy will not come in with Germany in the next few days but that the next week is likely to decide Italian policy. It is thought that Italy is trying hard to get Spain with her, which would gravely menace Gibraltar.

Rumoured here that Britain proposes to land at Curacao Dutch West Indies to ensure oil refineries against sabotage. They are most important for British petroleum supplies.

The Secretary of State [2] sent for Lothian [3] today to say that this would antagonise American opinion on the basis of the Monroe Doctrine and furthermore would give Japanese excuse for doing the same thing in the Netherlands East Indies. It is emphasized to me that we should give Japan no such excuse.

The American fleet is continuing manoeuvres at and west of Honolulu.

The State Department has no evidence so far that Japan contemplates any southward move. No signs of any Russian activity.

CASEY

1 U.S. Assistant Secretary of State.

2 Cordell Hull.

3 U.K. Ambassador to the United States.

[FA: A3195, 1.3153]