The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Harriman) to the Secretary of State
[Received November 25—2:05 p.m.]
2027. The chief of the American Section of the Foreign Office informed Hamilton on November 23 that the Soviet Government is giving consideration to the letter which Secretary Hull sent to Mr. Molotov32 during the Moscow Conference requesting the Soviet Union to send representatives to the United States to carry on the economic discussions provided for in article VII of the Mutual Aid Agreement. Mr. Zarubin said that the provisions of article VII covered such a wide range of questions that it is very difficult for the Soviet Government to decide what kind of representatives should be sent to Washington and he requested assistance in obtaining clarification of the nature of the discussions which the American Government envisages. He said he understood that similar discussions had already been, carried on between the United States and the British Governments as well [Page 1117] as between the United States and the Chinese Governments and he said it would be helpful to have information on the nature and scope of these discussions. Zarubin pointed out that in addition to particularization as to subjects it would also be useful to know which questions would be taken up first. He said it was possible that some of the Soviet experts now attending meetings in the United States might be designated if the questions for which they were competent were to be taken up early in the discussions. He also inquired whether it was contemplated that the discussions would be on a bilateral basis only or whether they were to be preliminary to some general conference which would also include other governments.
Hamilton referred to the memorandum entitled “Bases of Our Program for International Economic Cooperation” which was presented by Secretary Hull during the Conference but Mr. Zarubin felt that this did not indicate as precisely as the Soviet Government desires the scope of the contemplated conversations and in particular, the priority of the various subjects.
He was informed that the Embassy would, of course, be glad to endeavor to obtain further details and clarification of the nature of the proposed conversations. Please instruct.