761.62/641: Telegram

The Chargé in France (Murphy) to the Secretary of State

395. Steinhardt’s telegram No. 324, March 23 noon.87 Hoppenot told me this morning that the Foreign Office is informed that Molotov has canceled his visit to Berlin. One of the reasons attributed by the Foreign Office to this cancellation is the Souritz affair. Hoppenot said that French policy in regard to the Soviet Union is designed to prove to the latter that its present relationship with Germany is a mistake. He said that every time there is an incident such as the Souritz case the French Government will take pains to convey to Moscow that the reason therefor is not hostility to the Soviet Union but only the latter’s affiliation with Germany. He said for example that it might even come to pass that Soviet cargoes of metals and other Soviet supplies for Germany might be interfered with or sunk and that should such occasions arise the Allies will always emphasize that their action is directed against Germany rather than against the Soviets.

Hoppenot said that the Foreign Office is convinced that Russian mentality is best adapted to that sort of language.

Repeat to Moscow.

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