851.61311/9–447: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Smith) to the Secretary of State
top secret

2776. Concur fully in proposed moves to smoke out Soviets and publicize US grain shipments France as outlined Deptel 1678, September 3. Only suggestion is whether advisable to state our own estimates indicate even larger Soviet exportable surpluses than two million tons. Question of Soviet exportable surpluses is very elastic since all grain produced could readily be used domestically. On other hand surpluses could be made available whenever authorities deemed it advisable. Therefore, although perceive no objection indicating may be two million tons surplus this year, statement that they have more to export might boomerang propaganda-wise. They could make countercharge our information not based on facts and was “capitalist trick” to try discredit them.

Since all indications point to fact bread will be derationed here shortly probably in connection with 30th anniversary celebration,1 advisable prepare to point out in this eventuality either:

Soviet indifference and lack of cooperation if they do not offer grain to France and other needy western countries, or
If they offer comparatively small amount grain to west play up picture Soviets derationing while western countries, because of adverse weather and other circumstances, still live on very short rations and need extraordinary help which we giving for long time and in large quantities.

Since Communists most adept at rolling with the punch, boasting about black eyes and accusing others of ulterior motives in propaganda campaign, believe it essential to spike French and other Communist guns that we bolster our propaganda offensive with concrete acts. Therefore strongly recommend that in connection propaganda campaign [Page 736] we make at least token increase French grain allocations as suggested third paragraph mytel 2741, August 29.2

  1. The Bolshevik Revolution of November 1917.
  2. Not printed.