641.6131/208: Telegram

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

428. With reference to a British radio report concerning the possibility of renewed trade negotiations between the Soviet Union and Great Britain I am of the opinion that the Soviet authorities are quite willing to enter into such negotiations provided any agreement arrived at would not interfere with Soviet commitments to Germany. Nothing on the subject has thus far appeared in the Soviet press.96

  1. The Under Secretary of State, Sumner Welles, noted in a memorandum of April 22, that the Marquess of Lothian, the British Ambassador, had called to tell him that the Soviet Government “had taken the initiative in proposing a trade agreement” with Great Britain. “The British Government had replied that before giving any indication it would have to obtain from the Soviet Government a clear statement of the bases for such proposed trade agreement together with assurances that the latter Government would not permit supplies covered by the trade agreement to reach German hands.” (641.6131/209)