741.61/798: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Johnson) to the Secretary of State

1096. My 1094, July 31, 6 p.m.31 I understand from the Foreign Office that Molotov rejected an Anglo-French proposal for a joint statement by the three powers regarding military conversations and that the Soviet Government will make no statement until the military talks show practical results. Molotov also disapproved of unilateral statements by the French and British Governments. The British and French Governments are consulting in regard to the virtual combination of the French and British military delegations and their dispatch to Moscow at the earliest practicable date.

According to the Foreign Office the Government feels that, in view of the fact that there is no longer any hope of a political agreement with Russia being brought to early fulfillment and also in view of the fact that there is no apparent danger of an imminent breakdown of the negotiations, a stiffer line must be taken toward Russian demands during the next critical weeks unless these demands are balanced by concessions. The British Ambassador has therefore been instructed to press strongly for acceptance of the British formula on aggression (Embassy’s 954, July 8, 4 p.m., paragraph 1) and is not authorized to go beyond that except for a proviso for consultation in a case of aggression not covered by the British definition (my 1077, July 27, 8 p.m.).

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