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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

Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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