861.01/2168: Telegram

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


905. Bonnet said to me this afternoon that the Soviet Ambassador in Berlin76 had informed the French Ambassador in Berlin77 that he could state officially that the dismissal of Litvinov would lead to no change whatsoever in the foreign policy of the Soviet Union. The British Government had been informed officially that there would be no change in Soviet policy. The Soviet Ambassador in Paris had made the same statement to him last Thursday (see my telegram No. 879, May 4, 3 p.m.).

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Bonnet went on to say that Sir Eric Phipps had informed him this afternoon that the British Government was still opposed to accepting the French proposal to the Soviet Union since the British Government was loath to give any guarantee whatsoever to the Soviet Union. Nevertheless, the British Ambassador to Moscow today had presented to Molotov the latest British proposal and had been instructed to say that if Russia would first promise to come to the aid of Poland and Rumania the British Government would consider the question of direct guarantees between Great Britain and the Soviet Union.

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[Page 252]

Bonnet then went on to say that so far as he was concerned he had no confidence whatsoever in Russian promises and doubted that, even though the Soviet Union should promise to support Poland, Rumania, and Turkey in case of German attack, the support would be forthcoming;—thus making it once more abundantly clear that the present French policy is Daladier’s and Leger’s and not his own.

On the question of future Russian policy I have received today an optimistic interpretation from the source that I found always the most reliable when I was Ambassador in Moscow.78 This interpretation is the following: Stalin is more anti-Semitic than ever. The dominant members of the Politburo since the purges of last year have been Zhdanov, Andreyev and Molotov all of whom are extremely anti-Jewish. They have all desired for some time to take the foreign relations of the Soviet Union out of the hands of the Jews. Litvinov’s failure to reach agreement with England offered an excellent opportunity to get rid of Litvinov and his intimate Jewish collaborators. The foreign policy of the Soviet Union would remain unchanged, and it might prove easier to arrive at an agreement with Molotov than it had been with Litvinov.

  1. Alexey Fedorovich Merekalov.
  2. Robert Coulondre.
  3. 1933–36.