740.00119 EW/3–1945

Memorandum by Mr. Charles E. Bohlen, Assistant to the Secretary of State, to the Assistant Secretary of State ( Dunn )

Mr. Dunn: I talked with Admiral Leahy with regard to the British suggestion for a reply to Molotov’s letter of March 16 concerning the meeting in Switzerland. Admiral Leahy said (1) that the Joint Chiefs were against the President’s sending a message to Stalin on this subject and that the reply should go through diplomatic channels, and (2) that he felt that the proposed British message was satisfactory as it was along the same lines as that proposed by the War Department but that the sentence in paragraph 2(b) expressing the hope that the Soviet Government “will not press their request for contact in Bern to be broken off” should be omitted since it would give the Soviet Government the impression that it was up to it to decide whether the matter should be pursued or not. I said that I was sure the Department of State would agree with this correction in particular in view of Ambassador Harriman’s cables.

I saw Michael Wright66 this afternoon and explained to him the Admiral’s views. I also showed him the text of the proposed reply67 which, when finally approved by the Joint Chiefs and the President, we proposed to send to Harriman for delivery to Molotov. Mr. Wright said that he agreed with the suggested deletion and was sure that the Foreign Office would accept it. He asked that he be notified as soon as our message had been approved and that he be given a copy in paraphrase.68 This I promised to do.

Charles E. Bohlen
  1. First Secretary of the British Embassy.
  2. See infra.
  3. A marginal notation by Mr. Dunn reads: “Message was approved by the President and sent March 20th, 1945. British Embassy informed. J. C. D.”