111.16 Stettinius, Edward R. Jr./151b: Telegram
The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union ( Harriman )
508. You may have seen in the press round-up sent to the Embassy speculation as to reasons for my forthcoming visit to London.18 Today in his press conference the President announced that I was going to London but merely for the purpose of general discussions and not for any sensational purpose. The British as you probably know have for some time desired to have an American official visit them at least as a return visit of courtesy of their diplomatic representative to Washington. As the Secretary is unable to go I am making a visit in his behalf. It might be well in order to avoid speculation on the part of the Soviet Government as to the purpose of my visit if you on a suitable occasion when the opportunity presents itself would inform the Soviet Government that my visit is one of courtesy and for the purpose of general discussion and with no specific political objectives.