761.62/488: Telegram

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

44. Pravda today prints a Tass58 despatch from London reviewing an article by Vernon Bartlett59 on the possibility of a Soviet-German rapprochement According to this despatch Bartlett after asserting [Page 314] that the Soviet Union has been deliberately ignored by the British and French Governments and that the initiative for the Polish-Soviet and German-Soviet trade negotiations came from Warsaw and Berlin respectively, writes that “at present the Soviet Government evidently has no intention of giving any help to Great Britain and France if the latter come into conflict with Germany and Italy. The U. S. S. R. intends to conclude agreements with its neighbors on the condition that it be left in peace. From the point of view of the Soviet Government there is no great difference between the positions of the British and French Governments on the one hand and the German and Italian on the other, which would justify serious sacrifices in the defense of the Western democracy”. It is stated that after declaring the Soviet-German trade talks are the result of the press campaigns in England for the denunciation of the Anglo-Soviet commercial agreement, Bartlett concludes with the statement that it would be unwise to consider the present difference between Moscow and Berlin as an insurmountable factor in international politics.

The foregoing was published by the Pravda without any comment indicating Soviet evaluation of the views attributed to the author of the article. The obvious inferences to be drawn from this publication however are either that the views quoted actually represent Soviet policy or that the publication thereof in the Soviet press is intended to serve only as a warning to other countries. Whatever may be the intention of the Soviet Government in ventilating such views in the press the fact of their publication is a marked departure to the previous treatment of rumors in regard to a possible rapprochement with Germany which have heretofore been publicly ignored and privately denied.

Repeated to Berlin.

  1. Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union, an official communications agency of the Soviet Government.
  2. Diplomatic correspondent of the London News Chronicle.