741.61/1–2447: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Gallman) to the Secretary of State

top secret

520. UK Foreign Office plans to release for publication Saturday press Stalin’s reply to Bevin on Anglo-Soviet treaty (copy thereof telegraphed by Foreign Office to British Embassy Washington).1 Official charged Soviet matters states Stalin’s observations on revision in case of prolongation causes some concern and full implications now being explored.

Question of whether Stalin desires bilateral treaty outside UN arises. Official stated Foreign Office much more concerned with Stalin’s statement to Montgomery regarding desire for Anglo-Soviet military alliance. It is feared that this statement may become public knowledge through a Pravda article or otherwise and be used against Bevin by his political opponents in UK. Consequently, Foreign Office officials are now considering whether UK Govt should not immediately communicate to Moscow its willingness to undertake conversations on Stalin’s expressed desire for military alliance despite fact he did not charge Montgomery with official communication on subject to UK Govt. Foreign Office thought now proceeding along line that any such alliance should be multi-lateral and directed against Germany. Multilateral factor would be used to include France and other western European countries and possibly Poland. It should likewise make specific reference to UN. Mention here also was made to Byrnes’ proposal on Germany. Official stated views were purely in exploratory stage and would be subject to review at highest level after which UK Govt would communicate with Washington.

  1. Publication of the exchange of communications between British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Ernest Bevin and Premier Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin took place in Moscow, London, and New York on January 25. For the text of Bevin’s communication of January 18, and of Stalin’s reply of January 23, see The Times (London), January 25, 1947, p. 4, or the New York Times, January 25, 1947, p. 2.