Moscow Embassy Files—500 Berlin Conference

No. 232
Memorandum by the First Secretary of Embassy in the Soviet Union (Page)1

Memorandum [of] Conversation

Present: Mr. W. A. Harriman, American Ambassador
Mr. Edward Page, Jr., First Secretary of Embassy
Mr. V. M. Molotov, People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U. S. S. R.
Mr. Pavlov, Soviet Interpreter

Subject: Agenda for Forthcoming Berlin Meeting.

. . . . . . .2

Mr. Molotov then referred to the first topic in Mr. Harriman’s letter3 regarding procedure and machinery for peace negotiations. He said that it was evident that this question involved a general peace conference for Europe. According to the Ambassador’s letter of July 84 it was proposed that China should take part in the Council of Foreign Ministers which would study this question. He seemed to question the advisability of Chinese participation. He stated that there were many subjects which are absolutely new to the Chinese since they had not participated in discussions on European matters and were not members of the European Advisory Council [Commission]. He inquired whether the Ambassador could give him any additional information on such Chinese participation. The Ambassador stated that he had no information save what was included in his letter of July 7. The subject was a new one to him. He did not know the reason for including China. However, he assumed that since the German attack had world wide implications and since the Far Eastern countries had interests in Europe just like the European countries had interests in the Far East (although not so comprehensive) it appeared reasonable to expect China to participate in the European peace talks. In addition, China was one of the permanent members of the Security Council which would certainly deal with European questions. It would therefore be advisable for the Chinese member to be kept closely informed of European questions.

[Page 291]

The Ambassador inquired whether Mr. Molotov had made the inquiry concerning China because he did not fully understand all the considerations or because he was unfavorably disposed to Chinese participation.

Mr. Molotov said that he had made the inquiry because the inclusion of China in European talks had been unexpected. He said the question certainly needed further study and exchange of views. He stated that China should of course participate in the final peace conference.

  1. Harriman sent a summary of the portion of this memorandum here printed to Grew in telegram No. 2523 of July 11 (file No. 740.0011 EW/7–1145) and the gist of this message was included in telegram No. 19 of July 12 from Grew to Byrnes (file No. 740.00119 Potsdam/7–1245).
  2. For the paragraphs omitted here, see document No. 207.
  3. Of July 7. See document No. 189, footnote 1.
  4. See document No. 231, footnote 1.