881.00/7–1945: Telegram

No. 1353
The Acting Secretary of State to the Secretary of State


64. 1. The conversations on the Tangier problem have been postponed on the insistence of the Brit until sometime in Aug. We have been given to understand that the Brit wish to use their consent to Soviet participation in the talks as a “deal by which Brit would obtain something in exchange for Russian admission to conversations”. (Urtel Victory 82, July 18.)1

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2. On July 16 we took the position in a telegram to London2 that the Tangier question should not be raised at the Big Three meeting in view of the fact that France was not to be represented at the meeting. We added, however, that if the Brit so desired we would see no objection to their endeavoring through normal diplomatic channels to ascertain what views the Russians might have for the solution of the Tangier problem. The Brit have assured us that they would limit any discussions on this subject in Berlin to the question of the participation of the Soviet Govt in the talks. Any info the Soviet representatives might volunteer to give as to their ideas with regard to the future of Tangier would of course be helpful to us.

3. We have unearthed an old Riga despatch3 reporting that the Izvestiya of Sept 10, 1926 contained an article to the effect that Soviet Govt had notified Sweden, Great Britain, Italy and France that Russia’s participation in Algeciras conference gave it same rights as other participants to take part in any revision of Tangier Statute, and that Soviet Govt declared that it reserved right not to recognize any decisions that might be reached without its participation.

4. Villard is in Tangier; Childs and Dempster in Paris. They can proceed to Berlin if desired.