741.61/1–2547: Telegram

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

top secret

187. In his eagerness to isolate USA Stalin made mistake of trying to high-pressure British into new treaty. Stalin’s importunate courtship of British was conducted with surprising ineptitude. Height of [Page 524] clumsiness was of course Pravda’s accusations1 that Bevin had been unfaithful to present treaty—an obvious appeal to labor opposition to force Bevin out and demand a man who would “get along with USSR”.

What surprises us is not that Kremlin resorted to improper tactics, but that its actions were crude, obvious and hasty where they should have been deft, discreet and deliberate. It would almost seem that Kremlin’s high pressure tactics were prompted by a sense of anxious urgency, a desire to split Anglo-American front before CFM decision on crucial German problem.

We should be interested in Department’s and London’s estimates of Anglo-Soviet train of events since Montgomery’s visit here.

Department pass to London as 18.

  1. The Department of State was advised in telegram 611 from London on January 28, 7 p. m., not printed, that Assistant Under Secretary of State Christopher Frederick Ashton Warner believed that this article in Pravda for January 15 “was the Soviet way … of showing displeasure that Stalin’s reference to a military alliance to Montgomery went unanswered by London.” (741.61/1–2847)