The Chargé in the Soviet Union ( Grummon ) to the Secretary of State
[Received June 3—11:30 a.m.]
286. My telegram No. 285, June 2.99 Molotov handed the Soviet reply to the British and French Ambassadors yesterday at 3 o’clock.
According to information received from the French Embassy the reply was in the form of Soviet counterproposals which, after pointing out the objections to the Franco-British plan voiced by Molotov, reaffirmed Soviet insistence on the following points: (1) A direct guarantee of the independence of Finland, Latvia and Estonia by England, France and the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics; (2) the elimination of any reference to the League of Nations in the [Page 266] wording of the triparty pact for mutual assistance; and (3) an agreement to conclude subsequently a military convention between England, France and the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics in regard to the extent and character of the aid to be rendered mutually and to the countries guaranteed in the event of hostilities.
I am informed that the question of the Far East was not introduced or referred to by Molotov.
According to the French Embassy here the impression was received that the Soviet Union intend to remain adamant on the satisfaction of these demands as the price of its adherence to the Franco-British anti-aggression front. My informant stated that it was not believed that any real difficulty would be encountered in satisfying points (2) and (3) above but that the question of a guarantee of the three states bordering on the northwest frontier of the Soviet Union presented certain difficulties in view of the reluctance of those states to accept any guarantee from the Soviet Union. He was quite frank in stating that the Soviet insistence on this point was exaggerated and could only be explained through the extreme mistrusts which the Soviet Government had manifested throughout these negotiations, as well as the apparent Soviet conviction that it is in a position to enforce compliance with any measure which it considers even desirable.
I was given to understand that the French Ambassador here is still of the opinion that an agreement can be reached but only on the basis of full compliance with the Soviet desires set forth in the reply delivered yesterday.
As previously reported the French Embassy has throughout been in favor of full compliance with the Soviet demands as originally presented in order to avoid affording the Soviet Government an opportunity to delay its decision by objection to specific points and in order to force this Government to declare itself one way or another.
- Not printed.↩