Memorandum by the Adviser on Political Relations (Murray) to the Under Secretary of State (Stettinius)

Mr. Stettinius: With reference to the communication handed you by the British Ambassador stating that his Government would welcome a visit to London by one or more high officials of the Department conversant with Near and Middle Eastern affairs for the purpose of conversations with corresponding officials of the British Foreign Office, I have the following to report:

We had prepared a written reply along the lines suggested in my memorandum of November 6 which it was thought desirable to hold until the matter could be mentioned to the Secretary after his return from Moscow.

I had an occasion to mention the matter briefly to the Secretary last Monday, and while there was not time to go into the matter thoroughly with him he nevertheless expressed two thoughts:

Since the British, and not we, are seeking the conversations, should we not suggest to them that the conversations should be held in Washington?
In any such conversations as may be held, we should formulate in detail and in advance our policy regarding any questions which the British might have in mind raising.

A member of the British Embassy told Mr. Ailing12 a few days ago that there was “quite a lot of background” to this matter and that he would tell him of it this evening when Mr. Ailing expects to see him. With this additional information at hand, we shall be prepared to go ahead tomorrow with a written reply to the British Ambassador.

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Our reply will be along the lines as suggested in my above-mentioned memorandum of November 6 but will, in line with the Secretary’s thinking, suggest that the conversations should be held in Washington.

Wallace Murray
  1. Paul H. Ailing, Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs.