The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Harriman)
959. 1. Reference is made to the President’s message to Premier Stalin of February 23, suggesting the urgent need for establishing the international economic machinery proposed by Secretary Hull at the Moscow Conference, and to the Premier’s favorable reply of March 10. The President sent an identic message to Prime Minister Churchill on the same date.
Please explain to the appropriate officials of the Soviet Government that further communication with them regarding this proposal has been delayed for the reason that definite acceptance in principle by the British has not as yet been forthcoming. In your discretion you may indicate that the Department is pressing for early British acceptance [Page 38] and has sent a cable to London of which the substantive portions of interest are as follows:
[For the text of two paragraphs here omitted, see the second and third paragraphs of telegram 2964, April 14, 8 p.m., to London, printed on page 34.]
2. With reference to the Department’s telegram no. 1315 of December 2, 194351 and previous communications on this subject, you are reminded that the Soviet Government has not yet acted upon our invitation of last September52 to undertake informal exploratory talks in connection with Article VII of the Mutual Aid Agreement. Please urge upon the Soviet officials the desirability of initiating these discussions, to which this Government attaches the greatest importance, as soon as possible. In this connection you may find it useful to refer to the fact that similar preliminary discussions have now also been held with the Canadians; that the topics under consideration are gradually being made the subject of consultation with the representatives of the various American Republics through the medium of the Inter-American Financial and Economic Advisory Committee at Washington; and that discussions with the British will probably soon be resumed on a more intensive basis.
You should make it clear that the international economic machinery referred to in 1, above, will not preclude the need for early Article VII talks on a bilateral basis. The Department considers that both the establishment of the economic machinery and the initiation of Article VII talks with Soviet experts are matters of the greatest urgency and that neither project should be delayed pending conclusion of the other, but both should be pressed forward simultaneously with maximum expedition.