336 Eggleston to Evatt

Letter WASHINGTON, 6 November 1944

I hope you will not mind my referring to a matter on which I think we should have an understanding at once.

Some telegrams have come partly from you and partly from Hodgson to you, marked to be dealt with by a member of the staff alone. I presume that these are considered personal matters which you do not want to bother me about. But I feel rather embarrassed at things going through the Chancery which do not come under my attention and so I think do the members of the staff concerned. I would like you to know that I have given direction that all telegrams, whether marked in this way or not, are to be shown to me. I reserve the right to say what is to be done with them. As you know, I will loyally carry out all directions given by you and the Government, but I cannot accept responsibility for the work of the Legation if instructions to the staff are given otherwise than through myself.

The situation is illustrated by the message sent to Mr. Cordell Hull. [1] This is, of course, a message between friends, but it conveys a wish as to the result of the elections and as Mr.

Roosevelt's election is by no means certain, it would be exceedingly embarrassing if his opponent were to take office. If it could be conveyed by word of mouth, it would be harmless, but as Mr. Cordell Hull is in hospital this is not possible and I have directed Mr. Watt not to take steps to deliver it through the department. You will remember that one British Minister, Lord Sackville [2], expressed a wish for the election of a particular person and the outcry was so great that he had to be recalled.


1 Not located. Evatt appears to have dispatched this message during his visit to New Zealand.

2 In 1888, Lord Sackville, U.K. Minister to the United States, expressed a preference in private correspondence with U.S.

citizens for the re-election of President Cleveland. As a result of the ensuing public controversy, Sackville was handed his passport.