Memorandum of Conversation, by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Alling)

Mr. Hayter55 said that following his conversation a few days ago with Mr. Murray56 concerning the failure of the British Government to keep us informed of developments in connection with the Anglo-Soviet-Iranian Treaty, he had taken the matter up with the Foreign Office and was now in receipt of a reply. According to this statement the Foreign Office had furnished Ambassador Winant with a first draft of the treaty in September 1941. Early in January 1942 the final draft had been handed to the Embassy, but the Embassy had apparently inadvertently failed to forward a copy to Washington. Mr. Hayter said that he merely wanted to point this out to show that the British Government had every intention of keeping us advised of developments. I said that there had been a considerable period between September and January when we had had little or no news as to developments. He said the reason for this was that there had been no developments. The Iranian Government had pursued a policy of delayed tactics, and there was therefore nothing to report. He hoped, however, that the statement which he had made would convince us that the British had no intention of withholding information.

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He then went on to say that Mr. Murray had also mentioned the provision in Article 4, paragraph 2, of the treaty, by which it was agreed that a special agreement should be concluded between the participating governments defining the conditions of any transfers to the Iranian Government after the war of buildings and other improvements effected by the Allied Powers. He said that the purpose of this provision was to make it perfectly clear that the treaty itself did not cover the question of these improvements. He said the British Government fully realized that it would be necessary to consult with the United States Government before making any agreements on that point; that obviously the British, Soviet and Iranian Governments could not bind the United States and that therefore the whole subject had been left open for future negotiations. I asked him if he did not agree that some sort of tripartite or other agreement should be drawn up between the British, Iranian and American Governments covering these points. He said he agreed entirely, and he was certain that his Government shared the same view. I told him that it seemed to us that it was of some importance to settle this matter at an early date, to which he likewise agreed.

  1. W. G. Hayter, First Secretary of the British Embassy.
  2. Wallace Murray, Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs.