741.61/644: Telegram

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

1008. Bonnet said to me today that on Monday92 in Geneva he had ascertained definitely at the end of a long talk with Maisky that the Soviet Government positively would not enter into any agreement with England which would not involve a promise of direct assistance from Great Britain to the Soviet Union.

Maisky had stated that the Soviet Union feared that either Poland or Rumania or both might collapse as a result of German pressure and might permit the passage of German troops to attack the Soviet Union. Maisky had gone on to state however that the Soviet Union would sign at once an accord with England if in addition to guarantees for Poland and Rumania it should contain a direct guarantee for the Soviet Union.

Bonnet said that he had convinced Halifax that Great Britain must give such a guarantee to the Soviet Union and that on Tuesday morning Halifax on behalf of the British Government had asked the Polish and Rumanian Governments for their views with regard to such a guarantee by Great Britain to the Soviet Union.

Halifax later had reported to him, Bonnet, that the Rumanian Government had replied that it would be delighted to have a guarantee of Rumania from the Soviet Union provided Rumania should not be mentioned specifically in the terms of the agreement and that it would have no objection to a British guarantee of the Soviet Union. Halifax had said that Poland had replied in the same sense but less definitely.

Bonnet said that he was convinced that Halifax had communicated with Chamberlain on Monday evening and that the British Government would not have asked these questions of the Poles and Rumanians until Halifax had been certain that Chamberlain was prepared to make such an accord with the Soviet Union.

Bonnet added that he expected to be informed officially by the British Government tonight that Great Britain was prepared to make such an accord with the Soviet Union. He considered the matter completely settled. He expected that tomorrow the British and the French simultaneously but not jointly would make a proposal to the Soviet Union which would be accepted at once. With regard to the political accord with Poland, Bonnet said that he would not sign any accord with Poland until the British had informed him [Page 262] that they were ready to sign a similar accord. He believed that the British would be ready to sign a similar accord within 3 or 4 days.

  1. May 22.