500.A15/676: Telegram

The Chief of the American Representation on the Preparatory Commission (Gibson) to the Secretary of State

12. As you will have seen from the press, speeches were made in direct opposition to the Soviet proposals in yesterday’s meeting, notably by the British delegate but also by Italian, French and Japanese. Again this morning the proposals were attacked by the Netherlands and Swedish delegates.

Since all the great powers except ourselves had expressed their opinions in open session, since continued silence on my part was becoming more conspicuous than a speech—as I was constantly questioned informally as to America’s attitude—and since the Soviet representative had made direct reference to the United States (see my telegram March 19, 7 p.m.), I thought it well to speak in this morning’s meeting.

I touched briefly on our belief in multilateral pact (mentioned by Litvinov) and expressed belief in this method of approach and disbelief in the proposal as impracticable and incapable of attaining avowed ends.

I then spoke in the sense of your instructions in No. 23 to Berne18 and discouraged further expenditure of time by postponing immediate consideration of drastic proposals.

  1. Ante, p. 242.