Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State ( Messersmith )

I have read carefully the appended memorandum of March 2450 prepared by Mr. Kennan in Eu.50a I appreciate the reasons which impelled him to suggest that the post of Ambassador at Moscow might be left vacant for a while on the departure of Mr. Davies but I think [Page 644] there are other reasons which outweigh these. In view of the general situation in Europe, I feel that the balance is in favor of sending a chief of mission to that post.

It is clear, however, from Mr. Kennan’s memorandum and from the despatches which we have had from Ambassador Davies and from Mr. Henderson that the conversations with the Foreign Office in Moscow concerning the difficulties which we are experiencing there have not been satisfactory. In spite of the careful way in which the Secretary, Mr. Dunn and I went into these difficulties with the Soviet Ambassador here, it seems that there is complete misunderstanding at Moscow of our attitude. We have made it clear that we consider these things of importance and the Foreign Office in Moscow is brushing them aside as inconsequential. They seem entirely to have lost the point that we took up these matters with the Ambassador here because we wished our relations to be on a mutually helpful basis and they are attributing to us nothing less than the motive of bringing these things up as we desire all this as a preliminary to deliberately making our relations with them worse. All our efforts, therefore, both with the Ambassador here and of the Embassy in Moscow with the Foreign Office seem to have been without effect.

I think the matter is of sufficient importance to take up with the Soviet Ambassador again. I believe we should review the whole position with him again calling attention to the unsatisfactory nature of the conversations of Davies and Henderson in Moscow. All this may again be without effect but I believe we should at least try it once more. The reports which we get from Moscow indicate that we are getting fair words and professions of consideration but in actual treatment not much improvement.

G. S. Messersmith
  1. Not printed.
  2. Division of European Affairs.