851.61311/9–647: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Caffery) to the Secretary of State
top secret

3621. Our latest information just obtained confidentially from responsible French official is that French Government has submitted an urgent request for bread grains to Soviet Government through Russian Embassy in Paris and French Embassy in Moscow. Reported Russian answer is that request will be studied. Prevailing feeling privately expressed by French officials and implied in Communist press comment is that Russia will send wheat to France only if Communist Ministers are again included in French Government, but there is no confirmation that any such condition has been laid down as yet. An alternative possibility is that USSR may prefer to use wheat as a political weapon later in the season when food situation will be vastly more aggravated than now and when political stakes may be for a complete takeover of power by Communists rather than to use wheat at present for purpose of influencing French municipal elections in October.

Whether or not offer is made, and regardless of its timing, I heartily endorse plan as outlined in your 3304, September 3, and believe that it should be carried out at once.

Sent Department 3621, repeated Moscow 476.