641.6131/211: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Kennedy ) to the Secretary of State

1198. Personal for the Secretary. My 778, March 29, 8 p.m., second paragraph, and 1057, April 26, 1 p.m., last paragraph.99 In conversation with Halifax he told me the British had handed their [Page 600] note to Maisky on the Russian trade situation. Maisky was very indignant with the strict rules and therefore Halifax is convinced they will get a very sharp turndown from the Russians. Then they have two alternatives: either not to play with the Russians at all and call it all off or agree to a barter deal, letting the contraband situation stand as is. I think at the present time the Foreign Office feels it might be just as well to try and keep from an open break with Russia but events may change this in a comparatively short time.

  1. Latter telegram not printed. Ambassador Kennedy here reported that “Halifax feels that it is extremely unlikely that anything will come from the talks with the Russians regarding a trade agreement because the basic demand of the British is that the Russians cut down their trade with Germany.” (740.0011 European War 1939/2497)