740.00119 E. W./6–2545: Telegram

No. 373
The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union ( Harriman )

1577. Department has received from French Embassy an Aide-Mémoire dated June 251 referring to exclusion of France from Reparation Commission at Moscow. Although French government maintains the position that France should be represented on the Commission it asks that instructions be issued to the Chief of the American Delegation to keep the French Ambassador at Moscow closely informed of the Commission’s labors.

(Sent to Moscow as 1577 for action. Repeated to Paris as 3213 and London as 5671.)

We are told that the French have addressed similar communications to British and Soviet governments.

Please discuss the matter informally with the appropriate authorities and report their reaction to the French request. If questioned concerning our position, you may say that we are most sympathetic to the French desire not only to be kept informed but to be admitted to full membership.2 We are not certain, however, that the French suggestion, which would involve the receipt of information by the French Ambassador at Moscow from three separate sources, is the most practical way of accomplishing the desired purpose. We would be quite agreeable to having the American delegate work out with his British and Soviet colleagues on the Commission a procedure for [Page 536] keeping the French government informed concerning the decisions taken by the Commission, pending full French participation. This might be done through the Commission’s commissariat.

Please inform Pauley.

[ Grew ]
  1. Not found. Cf. document No. 357.
  2. The United States had earlier proposed French membership on the Allied Commission on Reparations, but had not been willing to accept a Soviet counterproposal that other governments be admitted to membership at the same time.
  3. The initials of the signing officer do not appear on the substitute file copy.