Lot 60–D 224, Box 51: ISO 20

Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Leo Pasvolsky, Special Assistant to the Secretary of State

Mr. Wright handed me the attached telegrams. I told him that we were glad to have them and will similarly keep the British Government informed of developments.

Leo Pasvolsky
[Page 635]
[Annex 1]

Text of a telegram from Mr. Eden to the British Ambassador at Moscow, dated march 31st

Have the Soviet Government reacted in any way? Good progress is being made here with preparation of papers on interdepartmental level and I should be grateful for any indication you can obtain of (a) the Soviet Government’s attitude in general to proposed talks; (b) whether they favour preliminary written exchange of views on topics suggested, and if so whether they are thinking of making any suggestions about time-table; or (c) whether they intend to put forward alternative suggestion to those made by the Americans and ourselves.

[Annex 2]

Text of a telegram from the British Ambassador at Moscow to the Foreign Office, dated April 5th

In written reply Molotov states that lists of questions communicated by the British and United States Governments in February will undoubtedly assist in forthcoming discussions at Washington. Acceptance for discussion of a list of questions does not, however, mean settlement of all of them in favourable sense or adoption of same as order for discussion. Fundamental questions should, he thinks, be discussed first, such as relationship between general organisation and directing body, method of reaching decisions in both cases, and relation of mutual defence arrangements and any regional systems to general security system. On the other hand such questions as relationship between international labour organisation and security system, and “provision of bases for common use” have not been clarified.

Subject to these provisos he has no objection to British and American lists forming the basis of discussion in framing programme for negotiations about international security organisation.
He does not object in principle to the proposal that the three Governments should exchange documents on questions listed, but thinks it necessary to settle first the order of questions and then to exchange documents on the questions which, as a result of negotiations in Washington, are recognized to have first priority.