740.00119 (Potsdam)/7–2245

The First Secretary of Embassy in Portugal (Cannon) to the Assistant Secretary of State (Dunn)3

Memorandum for Mr. Dunn

The subcommittee to consider sections 2 and 3 of the document “Implementation of the Yalta Declaration on Liberated Europe”4 met this evening (July 22). Ambassador Gromyko and Mr. Golunko represented the Soviet Government.

They said that they were not prepared to discuss point 3 because, as Mr. Molotov had agreed, a Soviet paper concerning the recent changes in procedure for the Allied Control Commissions in Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary5 will be circulated tomorrow morning, but it was not yet [Page 269] ready this evening, and it of course must be taken into account in considering this subject.

It was accordingly agreed that we would work on point 2 but submit no report to the meeting of the Foreign Ministers until we had also considered point 3 in subcommittee. On point 2 the Soviet Delegation presented a revision reading as follows:

“The three Governments agree that in view of the cessation of hostilities in Europe measures can now be adopted to facilitate the entry of representatives of the world press and radio into liberated or former Axis satellite states, and their freedom of movement, and the dispatch of their reports without political censorship or other restrictions than those which result from the security requirements of the occupying forces in those countries which are under the regime of occupation.”

In the discussion which followed they receded even from this text and when the meeting closed they left as points of difference the use of the word “entry”, and the specification of “political censorship”. In other words, they hoped not to specify in the text that there were difficulties about entry, on the argument that the other facilities would imply admission, and they wished not to “dot the i’s” of political censorship. They agreed that we would report to our several Ministers that these words need to be worked over in our next session.

They also objected to the last four lines on the first page of our text as mimeographed,6 to which ad referendum I tentatively agreed, as did the British representative, since this part of the text is not of great substance.

Far more important and the matter which will probably need to be discussed around the Foreign Ministers table is the final provision of Article 2 (see top of page 2 in our text), which applies to domestic freedom of the press in the several countries. They advanced various specious arguments about interference with the sovereignty of other states, and about the authority of the Control Commissions in the satellites, proposing that anything along this line should be handled by a directive to the Control Commissions.

I said that this was a provision to which the American Government attaches great importance, and while for administrative reasons it would probably be necessary in any case to send a directive to the ACC’s, it would also be necessary to make some reference to freedom of the press in whatever might publicly be said at the conclusion of the Conference, if the matter is taken up at all. I drew their attention [Page 270] particularly to the phrase “the three Governments express their desire to see removed”, as largely answering the arguments which they had presented.

They asseverated that they had not discussed this question with their top people and the best we could get out of them was an agreement that each of us should report on the details of this meeting to our respective Ministers and receive instructions for the next meeting, which will probably be held after the morning session tomorrow.

  1. Printed from an unsigned carbon copy.
  2. Document No. 748, post. For the text of the Yalta Declaration on Liberated Europe, see document No. 1417, post, section v.
  3. No single Soviet paper dealing with changes in procedure in all three countries has been found. Cf. document No. 309, printed in vol. i, and documents Nos. 796 and 797, post.
  4. The reference is presumably to the last three and one-half lines on the page, viz., “thus providing to world public opinion the basis for an enlightened interest in the welfare and progress of these peoples and a knowledge of the conditions in which they seek to re-establish their ties with other peoples”.