Memorandum by the Secretary of State of a Conversation With the Ambassador of the Soviet Union ( Troyanovsky )

The Soviet Ambassador called upon his own request. He was bubbling over with enthusiasm about the reported call of Stalin on Ambassador Davies while he was in the Foreign Office at Moscow and the lengthy conversation that took place, The Ambassador expressed the opinion that this means a real turning point in the relations between our two countries; the clearing up of certain debt questions, as well as other minor matters, which have been more or less at issue and which have operated to keep up friction between our two governments, or at least to keep them apart insofar as any real cooperation in most respects is concerned. The Ambassador was good enough to say that he felt that the sentiments expressed in my two [Page 567] recent speeches71 had been helpful in bringing about this step. He inquired if we had received a report from Ambassador Davies relative to the conversation with Stalin. I answered in the negative.

The Ambassador spoke with much enthusiasm about the prospects of a rapprochement between our two countries and the immense benefit it would be to each government and to the world. I emphasized to him in this connection the fact that this was precisely what we had in mind when we decided to recognize the Soviet Republic some years ago, but regarding which we had been woefully disappointed. I added that he could imagine the gratification, therefore, of myself, the President and others to see this new step by Stalin. The Ambassador said that, of course, this was not a tribute just to Ambassador Davies, but to the United States. He also said that another unusual step would be a dinner to Ambassador Davies by Litvinov—a courtesy that is not extended to other representatives of foreign governments. I again emphasized the immense satisfaction it gives us to see this step by the Soviet Government, which should mean so much to our countries and to the stability, peace and order of the world.

C[ordell] H[ull]
  1. Reference Is presumably to the Secretary’s address on “Economic Cooperation in the Americas” broadcast from the Pan American Union, Washington, May 8, 1938, and to “Recent Developments in Foreign Trade” broadcast from Washington, May 25, 1938. For texts, see, respectively, Department of State, Press Releases, May 14, 1938, p. 569, and Department of State Commercial Policy Series 51 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1938).