The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Harriman)
1315. 1. It is contemplated that the proposed Article VII discussions referred to in Embassy’s no. 2027 of November 24, 1943 would cover the topics outlined in the memorandum concerning our recent talks with the British which was attached to the memorandum “Bases of Our Program for International Economic Cooperation” with emphasis at this stage on commercial policy and international commodity arrangements, including cartels.
2. In the discussions with the British, these topics, as well as monetary and financial topics, were discussed concurrently, in several groups of officials of the two countries. This procedure was found desirable because of the close interrelationship among these topics. In as much as arrangements have already been made for conversations in Washington with representatives of the Soviet Government on monetary and financial topics, it would be desirable for the general [Page 1119] economic discussions to begin at the earliest convenience of the Soviet Government, as it would be helpful, though not essential, if the general economic discussions took place concurrently with at least the later stages of the monetary and financial talks.
3. Although an invitation to the Chinese Government to undertake similar discussions was extended simultaneously with those sent to the British and Soviet Governments, no such discussions have as yet been held and no specific arrangements have been made for holding them with the Chinese Government or with any other government. It is expected, however, that similar bilateral discussions will be undertaken by the United States soon with other governments. Such bilateral discussions are all that are contemplated for the immediate future, although we do not exclude the possibility of multilateral discussions at a later date.
4. Please communicate the substance of the foregoing to the Soviet Government and inform us as soon as possible of its plans in regard thereto.
5. The information contained in telegram no. 1316 which follows should be used only for background purposes in replying to any further questions.