867.00/6–1046: Telegram

The Ambassador in Turkey (Wilson) to the Secretary of State

secret

649. British Ambassador43 tells me in strict confidence that few days before Bevin delivered recent address House Commons on foreign policy a report was received from new British Ambassador Moscow44 of conversation with Stalin. While latter did not refer specifically to Turkey as had Molotov (Embassy’s telegram 626, June 345), he spoke of necessity for Russia to have complete freedom movement its ships from and to Black Sea. Peterson mentioned Potsdam agreement looking to revision Montreux Convention. Stalin replied freedom of passage through Straits of little value unless Russia had base somewhere in Mediterranean.

British Ambassador here believes receipt in London of foregoing report explains passage in Bevin’s speech concerning independence of Turkey as well as statement that Britain operates its shipping in Baltic without having base there.

Wilson
  1. Sir David V. Kelly.
  2. Sir Maurice D. Peterson, formerly at Ankara.
  3. Not printed; it reported a conversation with Foreign Minister Molotov, who repeated that his Government was dissatisfied with Turkey (761.67/6–346).