740.00119 Council/12–347: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Secretary of State, at London

top secret

5085. Secdel 1533. For the Secretary from Lovett. In our press telegram no. Secdel 152492 summary of story which appeared Dec 1 New York Times on division in US Delegation at London concerning Ruhr was transmitted. I feel I should tell you this report has caused great concern here. Not only has there been adverse editorial comment in today’s papers but both Mr. Forrestal and Mr. Byrnes expressed anxiety over this report which left the impression that we might enter into an arrangement which would give the Russians access to the Ruhr. Mr. Byrnes said the Ruhr is the one thing the Russians really want [Page 790] control of and that Molotov had once remarked, after a few drinks, that he would trade all the rest of it for this “citadel of Europe”.

Is there anything you would like us to do at this end in case of further press reaction.93

  1. Not printed.
  2. In telegram Martel 28, December 4, from London, Secretary Marshall replied to Acting Secretary Lovett as follows:

    “Reference your Secdel 1533 regarding New York Times report: There is no foundation whatsoever for the report. I have not even yet discussed the Ruhr matter with the Delegation. Therefore, I am not resolving a split but am merely struggling with a too quick reaction in the United States to a wholly unjustified press statement. Please give Forrestal and Byrnes the substance of the foregoing and say that I am a little surprised at their instant reaction to such a press story which has been common I believe to every conference.” (740.00119 Council/12–447)