No. 268 NAI DFA Washington Embassy Confidential Reports 1940

Confidential report from Robert Brennan to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)

Washington, 20 August 1940

Contrary to expectations Mr. John Cudahy, Ambassador to Belgium, was not rebuked by President Roosevelt for his injudicious London interview in which he praised the conduct of German soldiers in Belgium, and called for American food supplies to avert famine there. On emerging from his interview with President Roosevelt, Mr. Cudahy said he was authorized to state he had not been rebuked and that he did not intend to resign. Later his interview with Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles was described as cordial although Mr. Welles had previously issued a statement which was a sharp reprimand to the Ambassador. Opinion here is that this denouement had nothing to do with the case, but that it had a great deal to do with the coming Presidential election, and with the vote in Wisconsin, Mr. Cudahy's native State. An incident which may have helped also was the demonstration in Mr. Cudahy's favour when he landed at La Guardia airport from Europe. A crowd estimated at 1,000 assembled at the airport and give Mr. Cudahy an enthusiastic cheer very much to his surprise. The demonstration had been very hastily organized by Mr. Martin Conboy1 and Mr. J.C. Walsh.2

1 Martin Conboy, District Attorney for the Southern District of New York (1933-35) and prominent Irish-American.

2 Secretary to Martin Conboy.

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