741.61/2–347: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom

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532. Please deliver immediately the following message from the Secretary to Bevin:

“I am very appreciative of the communications which you sent me through the British Embassy under date of January 311 relating to your proposed course of action in respect to Marshal Stalin’s suggestion first, as to a review of the Anglo-Soviet treaty; and second, as [Page 527] to an Anglo-Soviet military alliance. I am also grateful to you for your assurances that if and when Marshal Stalin replies to your communication on the first of these subjects, you will continue to keep me informed.

“I have no comments to make in regard to the course you suggest.2 As you know from your many talks with Secretary Byrnes, it has been the President’s and his policy, as it will be mine, to make the influence of this country felt in international affairs by doing all that can be done to strengthen and perfect the United Nations as an instrument for the discussion of international problems and the maintenance of international peace. Along with this policy goes that of taking a full and active part in the working out of peace settlements which will form a lasting basis upon which the United Nations can perform its functions. Mr. Byrnes’ draft four-power treaty for the disarmament and containing of Germany3 and a similar proposal which he suggested for Japan are outstanding examples. This policy has the overwhelming support of our people who pin their faith to this rather than to the attempt to reach international security through bilateral agreements.”

  1. Not printed.
  2. In his communication of January 31, Foreign Secretary Bevin declared: “I have no knowledge of what is in Stalin’s mind. I propose therefore to reply to the Generalissimo by asking him if he would be good enough to give us his proposed revisions. By that means we shall see exactly what he has in mind. In communicating with Stalin I should make it clear that His Majesty’s Government are willing to enter into negotiations for bringing the Anglo-Soviet Treaty up to date.” (741.61/2–447)
  3. For the draft of this treaty submitted to the Council of Foreign Ministers at Paris, see the document CFM (46) 21, 30 April 1946, Foreign Relations, 1946, vol. ii, p. 190. The first substantive discussions of this draft were held at the meetings of the Council of Foreign Ministers at Moscow, March 10–April 24, 1947. Secretary Bevin reminded in his communication of January 31 that he had “already announced to the Council of Foreign Ministers that we were willing to support Mr. Byrnes’ draft Four Power Treaty for the disarmament and the containing of Germany.” (741.61/2–447)