611.6131/314: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Bullitt) to the Secretary of State

176. Your 79, April 20, 3 p.m. Discussed draft of note granting most favored nation treatment to Soviet products in exchange for definite written promise to purchase $30,000,000 worth of goods this year in the United States with Litvinov today. He stated that he did not wish to indicate that the Soviet Government would not buy as much as $30,000,000 worth of goods and that he was ready to express the opinion that the purchases of the Soviet Government would approach that figure but that his Government was not ready to make any promises to purchase any fixed amount.

I pointed out to him that if his Government should adhere to this attitude the Government of the United States would find it most difficult, if not impossible, to extend most favored nation treatment to the products of the Soviet Union. He replied abruptly, “We shall not do it,” then added that he desired before giving a definitive answer to discuss the matter further with various Commissariats.