740.00/1250: Telegram

The Ambassador in France ( Bullitt ) to the Secretary of State

865. I asked Léger if the British Government had agreed to accept the French formula with regard to mutual defense agreements in behalf of the Soviet Union and France and the Soviet Union (see my telegram No. 859 of April 29, 3 p.m.). He replied that on the contrary the British were continuing to insist that Russia should give a unilateral declaration to the effect that in case of German attack on Poland or Rumania the Soviet Union would give military support to Poland or Rumania.

The French Government had continued to argue the point with the British Government and the British Government had replied that it was not ready to give any British guarantee whatsoever to the Soviet Union.

Léger went on to say that the Russians had taken the position that they would not give any guarantee to Poland and Rumania unless at the same time they should be guaranteed by France and England. The Russians had indicated their willingness to give reciprocal guarantees to France and England and were ready to accept the French formula referred to in my No. 859 of April 28 [29], 3 p.m.

Léger said that he felt there was still some danger that the Russians might attempt once more, as they had attempted so, to come to terms with Hitler. Moreover the Soviet Government had sent Potémkin, Vice Commissar for Foreign Affairs, to Ankara to strengthen the Turkish opposition to signing any agreements with [Page 245] France and England until France and England should have given guarantee to the Soviet Union.

Léger went on to say that he was certain that if Great Britain should accept the French formula vis-à-vis the Soviet Union, Turkey would sign agreements with France and England at once. The Turks at the moment were taking the position that they could not come into a system of mutual defense in which the Soviet Union was treated as a pariah.