740.00119 E.W./4–345: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Harriman) to the Secretary of State

1027. In a talk with Maisky31 yesterday I told him that Dr. Lubin was ready to leave shortly for Moscow. He asked whether I knew when the British were coming. I could give him no information on this and as he had none, he seemed puzzled why Lubin should come before the British. I would appreciate being informed what information the Department has regarding the British plans and also the plans of the French, now that they are to be admitted. I suggest that Lubin and his party do not come to Moscow at least until the British. I request that I be urgently informed whether he is leaving on the 10th as I am now insisting that his quarters be available on that assumption.

The Russians have shown little willingness to implement a number of the Crimea decisions and I therefore see no reason why we should show eagerness in expediting decisions on reparations, which is one subject to which the Soviet Government is most anxious to get us committed. I recommend that Lubin be instructed, that he should, of course, work earnestly in studying and analyzing Maisky’s figures, but to indicate no opinion or take no commitment until the United States Government decides as a matter of over-all policy what position we wish to take on this question in which the Soviet Union is most anxious to get our cooperation. On the other hand, in his studies he should show at all times a sympathetic approach towards the Soviets’ desire to obtain large reparations from Germany.31a

  1. Ivan Mikhailovich Maisky, Assistant People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union and Soviet representative on the Allied Commission on Reparations.
  2. A summary of the information contained in this telegram was transmitted to President Roosevelt in a memorandum dated April 4. On April 6, President Roosevelt sent a note to Mr. Lubin informing him that Ambassador Harriman advised caution in making commitments to the Russians on reparations. The President also indicated that Mr. Lubin could refer back to him any proposals presented to him in Moscow. (Copies of documents obtained from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, N.Y.)