740.00/832: Telegram

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

182. I am informed that the British Ambassador saw Litvinov42 this afternoon at 3:00 o’clock and under instructions from his Government made a proposal along the following lines:

The British Government had taken due note of the statement in Stalin’s recent speech at the Party Congress to the effect that the Soviet Government stood for the support of states, victims of aggressors, who were struggling for their independence (see my telegram No. 94 [99], March 11, 4 p.m.43). In view of the similarity between this statement and the views recently expressed by the French and [Page 233] British Governments, the British Government suggested that the Soviet Government on its own initiative issue a public declaration which after referring to the above statement of Stalin and to the French and British views should announce that in conformity with the principle expressed therein, if a country neighbor to the Soviet Union became the victim of aggression and was fighting for its independence the Soviet Government would come to the support of those countries if so desired and in such form as might be suitable.

The Soviet Government has not yet replied to this proposal.

I am further informed that the Soviet Ambassador in London44 is to proceed to Moscow for consultation.

The above information has been furnished by the British Embassy with the request that it be held in strictest confidence.

  1. Maxim Maximovich Litvinov, People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union.
  2. Foreign Relations, The Soviet Union, 1933–1939, p. 739.
  3. Ivan Mikhailovich Maisky.