740.0011 European War 1939/353: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Steinhardt) to the Secretary of State

557. I have been informed in strict confidence that the French and British Embassies here are advising their respective Governments not to declare war against or break off diplomatic relations with the Soviet [Page 433] Union by reason of the aggression against Poland on the ground that such action could only benefit Germany without helping Poland. They feel that the more effective measures against the Soviet Union which would be made possible by a state of war would be more than offset by the danger of precipitating complete military and economic cooperation between Germany and Russia. They believe that substantially the same measures as would be effective against the Soviet Union could be taken without breaking off diplomatic relations. They are furthermore of the opinion that a state of war between Britain and France and the Soviet Union would make it extremely difficult for Turkey to fulfill its agreements with the former should the occasion arise.