740.0011 Moscow/10–1843

Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Charles E. Bohlen of the American Delegation

Participants: The Secretary of State
The Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Molotov
Mr. Pavlov
Mr. Charles E. Bohlen

Mr. Molotov said that he was glad to see Mr. Hull looking so rested, as he had appeared somewhat tired upon arrival at the airport yesterday. After an exchange of generalities in regard to the trip and airplane travel in general, the Secretary said he would like to touch on a few matters of business before the meeting this afternoon. The Secretary said that yesterday the American correspondents had not been permitted to send through the censor any human interest stories concerning the arrival of the American Delegation, such as for example that he had stood the trip well. The Secretary inquired whether it would not be possible to make some arrangements whereby details and human interest stories concerning the American Delegation and the conference, which did not in any way touch upon the official business of the meetings could be permitted to be sent back to the United States. He suggested that the type of material which would be harmless to send might be decided by a representative of the Soviet Government and representatives of the British and American Delegations. Mr. Molotov said that he could not understand the “stupidity” of the censor in not permitting such harmless stories to go through and he said that he would see to it that no similar prohibition of such types of stories were enforced in the future. He said that he would give orders that any type of material which the British and American Delegations desired to give to their respective correspondents in the Soviet Union would be permitted to pass through the Soviet censor.

The Secretary said that since he was convinced that our three countries would be engaged in close cooperative international action not only during the war but in the post-war period as well, it was important that misunderstandings or suspicions which might exist between our peoples should be steadily and progressively broken down. He therefore suggested that it might be a good idea if the subordinate members of the American Delegation could be put in touch with their opposite numbers in the Soviet Government, not for the purpose of any official discussions or the taking of any decisions, but merely to get to know each other and to talk over the problems in their specific fields. Mr. Molotov agreed that this would be a good idea. The Secretary [Page 577] then said that he desired to tell Mr. Molotov what he had already told Mr. Eden, that he envisaged cooperation between the three countries on an entirely equal footing and that there should therefore be no secrets between the three of them. Mr. Molotov heartily agreed with the Secretary’s views on this point. In conclusion, the Secretary said he desired to assure Mr. Molotov that he was profoundly convinced of the importance of the closest collaboration between the three great Powers—the Soviet Union, Great Britain and the United States—in the future, since we were all in the same boat, and that he personally was prepared to devote the closing period of his life to facilitating and developing such collaboration. Mr. Molotov thanked the Secretary for his statement and said that in so far as he was able he was prepared to do everything in his power to facilitate the achievement of that aim.