891.51A/516: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom ( Matthews ) to the Secretary of State

1050. This morning I discussed with Sir Alexander Cadogan94a the situation in Iran in the sense of the Department’s telegram no. 912, March 3, 9 p.m. He said that he would like to look into this question somewhat before giving any definite reply; he could say, however, that the British Government desires the fullest and closest collaboration between our two Ministers at Tehran. He added that he felt perhaps that we took “too black a view of the situation there”. He felt that some of the elements in the central government of Iran at least (he mentioned specifically the Foreign Minister and the Minister for Finance) were not undesirable persons, but until a new government has taken shape it is difficult to see how the situation will evolve.

He admitted that some of the provincial authorities could be considered unsatisfactory and that their authority in certain areas did not inspire confidence. On the other hand he is not inclined to feel that the situation is such that transportation for military supplies to Russia is in any danger. He fully agreed to the importance of the maintenance of law and order in Iran and to the key position which that country now occupies.

He said that he gathered from what I had said that our Government is not inclined to lend assistance in obtaining the services of an American financial adviser under present circumstances. I replied that perhaps he was reading too much into the Department’s views and that I felt that what we are seeking is primarily a closer understanding with the British as to men and policies in Iran as a necessary preliminary to the sending of an American financial adviser.

  1. British Permanent Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.