740.0011 European War 1939/28388: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Standley) to the Secretary of State

131. Department’s 118, March 6, 5 p.m.94 The British Ambassador has shown me the full texts of the memoranda in question as well as a recent note from Molotov95 in reply to certain British representations in the premises. This note stated that the Soviet Government adhered to its position in regard to the basing British air squadrons in north Russia and the protection of convoys, and in every instance accused the British of failing strictly to abide by their original agreements with the Soviet Government.

From my observation of the situation, the British have probably failed on various occasions strictly to live up to the letter of their agreements, thus justifying to some extent the Soviet grievances. However, it appears certain that the absence of a real spirit of cooperation on the part of Soviet officialdom in the north, and the presence of the obstructionist tactics and the petty annoyances so common in this country are also contributing factors in the present British-Soviet difficulties.

Clark Kerr appeared quite worried in regard to the situation and not at all optimistic in regard to future British-Soviet relations.

  1. See footnote 87, p. 624.
  2. See telegram No. 1728, March 10, 9 p.m., from the Chargé in the United-Kingdom, p. 633.