741.61/924: Telegram

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

727. The British Ambassador told me in the strictest confidence that he has been unable to obtain an appointment with either Molotov or Vyshinski during the past 6 days.

While it is, of course, entirely possible that both Molotov and Vyshinski have been so occupied first with the Yugoslav20 and then [Page 164] with the Japanese negotiations21 that they have been unable to find the time to receive the British Ambassador, I am more inclined to the view that they have been unwilling to see him pending the outcome of their conferences with Matsuoka.22

  1. See vol. ii , section under Yugoslavia entitled “Efforts of the United States to encourage Yugoslav resistance to Nazi aggression; invasion of Yugoslavia by Germany.” See also post, pp. 272 ff.
  2. A neutrality pact between the Soviet Union and Japan was signed in Moscow on April 13, 1941; for text, see Department of State Bulletin, April 29, 1945, p. 812. Details on the negotiations for this agreement are in Foreign Relations, Japan, 1931–1941, vol. ii, pp. 151186, and Foreign Relations, 1941, vol. iv, pp. 905 ff.
  3. Yosuke Matsuoka, Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs. Concerning his visit to Moscow and Berlin during March and April 1941, see vol. iv , index.