741.61/994: Telegram

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

138. The British Ambassador informed me that shortly after his return here he had an interview with Stalin in which he contrasted the freedom of movement and contacts enjoyed by Maisky in London, to his isolated position in Moscow where, during his tenure of office, he had been totally deprived of the opportunity freely to associate with Soviet public figures or to visit Soviet institutions. To each of these statements he stated that “Stalin answered with a grunt”. [Page 631]Clark Kerr then commented on the lack of cooperation of the Soviet authorities in exchanging military information and on their refusal to permit the majority of the British military mission to visit the front, pointing out that when certain of the mission were given this permission the occasion was heralded in advance as a very special event which turned out in fact to be a dress parade rather than a serious tour in which real military information was gathered. The Ambassador then advised Stalin that various changes were being made in his mission and that he hoped that upon the arrival of the new personnel the Russians would exhibit a more generous attitude in regard to the release of information. Stalin replied “certainly this would be done”.