840.70/7–1945: Telegram

No. 1160
The Director of the Office of Transport and Communications Policy (Taft) to the Assistant Secretary of State (Clayton)1
us urgent

61. Attention Clayton from Taft.

Dept has received from BritEmb an aide-mémoire2 proposing that European Inland Transport Conference be reconvened. BritGovt further proposed that they inform SovGovt of the desire to resume the Conference and that they are disposed to invite Provisional Polish Govt to appoint a delegation but before doing so BritGovt would welcome assurance that SovDeleg would participate in work of Conference.

BritGovt also suggested that Danish and Turkish Govts be invited to reconvened Conference and requested US views on this question. Dept answered Brit aide-mémoire as follows:3

“The Department of State agrees with the proposals of His Majesty’s Government as contained in the British Embassy’s Aide-Mémoire of July 11, 1945 that the Soviet Government be informed of the desire of our Governments to reconvene the European Inland Transport Conference as soon as possible. Such communication to the Soviet Government would go on to say that our two Governments are disposed at once to invite the Polish Provisional Government of National Unity to appoint a delegation to the Conference but that before doing so we would welcome assurance that the Soviet Government would participate in the work of the reconvened Conference.

The Department of State suggests that since the original invitations to the Conference were issued jointly by our two Governments the proposal to the Soviet Government and the invitations reconvening the Conference likewise be joint communications.

The Department of State does not believe that the Danish and Turkish Governments should be invited to send delegates to the reconvened Conference as this might entail further delay or raise additional questions concerning the participation of other governments. This question should be left for consideration either by the Conference after it is reconvened or by the Council of the Organization after the final agreement has been signed.

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This Government agrees that the Provisional Organization for European Inland Transport should continue its activities until the European Central Inland Transport Organization proper comes into being.”

Embassy London now advises4 that FonOff suggests matter could be more advantageously taken up in Berlin and that FonOff has requested its delegation Berlin to consult with you and if agreeable to discuss with Soviets question of reconvening Conference as part of larger discussion of Russian cooperation in European economic organizations. Weston of Ministry of War Transport is Brit official most familiar with entire EIT matter. He is in Berlin and would be able to give both delegations technical background information if necessary.

Department perceives no objection to latest FonOff proposal and will therefore assume that matter will be considered in Berlin unless informed by you to the contrary.

  1. Sent to the Secretary of State at Babelsberg over the signature of Grew.
  2. Document No. 267, printed in vol. i.
  3. On July 14.
  4. See document No. 1158.