800.796/549a: Telegram

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

309. The British and Canadian Governments have requested us to open conversations with them on post-war civil aviation. In agreeing [Page 381] to this, Department stated that it would inform the Soviet Government of this fact. The discussions will probably cover broad questions of policy such as freedom of transit for civil aircraft with right of stop for overhaul and refueling; the degree to which commercial entry shall be available, and similar questions, and, if sufficient basis appears, would look forward to the possible holding of a United Nations aviation meeting later this year, and possible United Nations organization for civil air matters.

The Department would favor asking the Soviet Government to join in such conversations at an early stage if the Soviet Government is interested in doing so.

Please inform the Soviet Foreign Office of the British and Canadian request, and of our agreement thereto, and advise the Department of the degree of interest which the Soviets may have in this matter. It is expected that conversations will begin in Washington in about 4 weeks.