840.811/3–1646: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in the Soviet Union (Kennan)

top secret

486. AC in Austria adopted following resolution in its meeting Jan 22:

“The Allied Council agrees that the Commanders-in-chief will draw the attention of their respective governments to the advantages that would accrue if these governments would authorise their representatives in Vienna to seek resolution of the question of a rapid resumption of navigation on the Danube and to make without delay proposals towards finding a provisional modus vivendi.

On Feb 22 this Govt received Aide-Mémoire29 from Brit Embassy Washington requesting this Govt to join with UK in approaching Sov Govt regarding resumption of navigation on Danube and establishment of provisional commission.

[Page 231]

You are therefore instructed to approach Sov Govt simultaneously with Brit Ambassador on following points:

Reestablishment of general principle of freedom of commerce and navigation on Danube River on terms of entire equality to nationals, vessels of commerce and goods of all members of United Nations.
Establishment of provisional commission to be composed of representatives of USSR, US, UK and France in their respective roles as occupying powers, together with such riparian govts as have been recognized by four major powers.

Is understood UK will immediately instruct its Ambassador at Moscow similarly.

For your own information, but not for Sov Govt it is not our intention to seek permanent membership on a Danube Commission but we should state our position re temporary commission without prejudice to Anglo-French views on a permanent commission. Except to state that it is not prepared to discuss issue of permanent commission US is therefore not commenting on following point in British Aide-Mémoire:

“It would be understood that after the peace treaties had been signed with all ex-enemy riparian states, a conference would be held to draw up a definitive statute for the Danube and to establish a permanent international commission.”

British Aide-Mémoire states that “if the Soviet Government should agree in principle to the establishment of a provisional commission, His Majesty’s Government proposes to suggest that a meeting should be held in Vienna of representatives of the Governments concerned (i.e. the United Kingdom, the United States, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and France and such riparian governments as have been recognized by the four major powers) to draw up the terms of reference of the provisional commission.”

Sent to Moscow, repeated to Vienna, London, Paris, Praha, Belgrade, Bucharest and Budapest.

  1. Not printed.