741.61/810: Telegram

The Chargé in the Soviet Union (Grummon) to the Secretary of State

422. My telegram No. 413, July 28. The meeting which took place yesterday between Molotov, the British and French Ambassadors and Strang was not reported in the Soviet press today. I am informed in strict confidence by Strang that no important developments took place at that meeting which was devoted largely to a discussion of certain problems of housing, et cetera, of the French and British military missions which are expected in Moscow at the end of this week or the beginning of next. In addition further discussion without notable progress took place regarding the formula to define “indirect [Page 293] aggression” Both sides Strang stated are agreed that “indirect aggression” must be covered. However, it appears that the Russian draft is susceptible of a somewhat “sinister” interpretation. While the French and British representatives, it was stated, have assured Molotov that they do not suspect the Soviet Government of any such intentions, they nevertheless are unwilling to put their names to an instrument in any way susceptible of such an interpretation, which moreover might possibly be used for force purposes against their Governments.

I gained the impression that weeks of discussion are expected between the British and French military missions and the Soviet military and that meanwhile unless an early agreement should be reached in the political discussions the latter may possibly remain in abeyance. Strang indicated that he did not expect an early signature of the pact in view of the Soviet insistence that the military and political features of the agreement be considered as a unit.