740.0011 Mutual Guarantee (Eastern Locarno)/83

The Chargé in the Soviet Union (Wiley) to the Secretary of State

No. 310

Sir: With reference to my telegram No. 407, December 9, 8 p.m., reporting the signing of the Laval-Litvinov protocol at Geneva on December 5, 1934, and subsequent despatches on the same subject, I have the honor to transmit herewith an English version of the official text of the protocol which appeared in the Soviet press on December 20, 1934. The enclosed text is taken from the Moscow Daily News of December 20, 1934, and has been carefully checked with the official communiqué in Russian. The Department will note that the wording of the protocol permits of a wide or narrowed interpretation in respect of the period and scope of the present agreement which, as reported, in my despatch No. 287, of December 14, 1934,59 was presumably drafted with a view to appeasing British sensibilities. The vague wording on this point would seem to explain the inconsistency between the Havas communiqué announcing the signing of the protocol and M. Litvinov’s statements in respect to the scope of the pact, as reported in the telegram referred to above and commented on in subsequent despatches.

I venture to enclose also translations of editorial comments which appeared in the Izvestiya and Pravda on December 20, 1934,59 in connection with the publication of the official text of the protocol.

Respectfully yours,

John C. Wiley

Protocol Signed on December 5, 1934, in Geneva by the Russian People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs (Litvinov) and the French Minister for Foreign Affairs (Laval)60

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the French Republic and the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U. S. S. R., having [Page 524] exchanged opinions on the progress of negotiations for the conclusion of the Eastern Pact, the initiative for which was undertaken by their respective governments, put on record the mutual decision of both governments to secure the conclusion of the international acts indicated. At the moment when the negotiations have entered into a more active phase, they have agreed on behalf of their governments, to undertake mutually to adhere to the following positions:

In their connections with the governments invited to participate in the Pact, and particularly with those which have not yet expressed their consent in principle to join the Pact, both governments agree not to enter into negotiations which might be aimed at concluding multilateral or bilateral agreements, capable of jeopardizing the preparation for and the conclusion of the Eastern Regional Pact or agreements connected therewith, and agree not to conclude agreements counteracting the spirit by which both governments are guided.
To this end, each of the two governments will notify the other of any proposal of the above mentioned character, made to it by one of the governments in question, regardless of the manner in which such a proposal may be made.

These undertakings will be binding for the entire period of the current diplomatic action or all other subsequent actions which, on the basis of the same general conception and with the same purpose in view, could replace it. Both governments undertake not to reject these actions except in the event of an acknowledgment by mutual agreement of the uselessness of continuing them further. In such an event they will confer mutually on the question of new assurances which they will deem necessary to give one another on the basis of the same spirit and with the same end in view.

Both governments are convinced that such a guarantee of the continuity and effectiveness of Franco-Soviet diplomatic collaboration will further the success of the present international negotiations and at the same time will help in general to strengthen the spirit of mutual confidence in the relations between the governments of both countries.

In confirmation of which we, the undersigned, duly authorized by our respective governments, have signed the present protocol.

  • Pierre Laval
  • Maxim Litvinov
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Marginal note on original: “Source: Moscow Daily News of December 20, 1934, vol. iii, No. 292 (793)”