No. 703
Memorandum by the Acting Secretary of State

Memorandum of Conversation

Subject; Turco-Soviet relations

Participants: British Minister, Mr. John Balfour;
Acting Secretary, Mr. Grew

Mr. Balfour called on me this morning immediately after my talk with the Turkish Ambassador, recorded in a separate memorandum,1 [Page 1047] and left with me a memorandum2 covering instructions to the British Ambassador at Moscow to make representations to the Soviet Government concerning the recent Turco-Soviet conversations in which Mr. Molotov had made certain demands of Turkey. Mr. Balfour understood that this subject would be discussed at the forthcoming meeting of heads of government but his own Government felt that the ground would be helpfully prepared for such talks by the preliminary démarche which Sir A. Clark Kerr had been instructed to make in Moscow. I said to Mr. Balfour that we would immediately give careful consideration to the British memorandum.

I then told Mr. Balfour of the reports, one of which had come to me from the Turkish Ambassador direct, that in a recent conversation with Lord Halifax I had assured him that the United States would support Great Britain in such representations to the Soviet Government, but I pointed out to Mr. Balfour that not only had I given no such assurances but that I had not even seen Lord Halifax officially since his return from San Francisco. The reference was no doubt to my conversation on this subject with Mr. Balfour himself.3 Mr. Balfour said that I was quite right and that in my talk with him I had given no such assurances and he had correctly reported our conversation to London to the effect that we thought it would be preferable to withhold action until the end of the San Francisco Conference and that if action were to be taken there would presumably be plenty of time between the close of the San Francisco Conference and the meeting of the Big Three. Mr. Balfour, however, said that his Government hoped that we would at least support the British action with some step of our own.

J[oseph] C. G[rew]