The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Douglas)1
2650. Eyes only Douglas. Summary of the President’s conversation May 29 with Trygve Lie, Byron Price, the Secretary follows:
Lie said that in his interview with Stalin he had stated his impression from his talk with the President was that the President had a most friendly personal feeling for Stalin and that the President said he would be glad to receive Stalin as his guest in Washington. Lie then reported that he had said to Stalin that they could meet perhaps in some other part of the US, such as Key West, or in a neutral country, perhaps Switzerland or Sweden. Stalin’s view was that there were so many difficulties now existing between the East and West that a meeting of the Chiefs of State would not be profitable. He thought that at some time considerably in the future when these [Page 384]difficulties had been resolved except for one or two problems a meeting might be useful. He did not foresee this at the present time.
Lie then reported his discussion of possible periodic meetings of the FMs in the SC. Stalin replied that acceptance of the Chinese Communists was a condition precedent to Russian return. After that condition had been fulfilled, it might be possible to have the meetings of the SC. In principle he accepted the idea and in principle he accepted Lie’s memorandum as a working paper on which possible agenda for such meetings might be based.
President replied that since the acceptance of the Chinese Communists in the United Nations was a condition precedent and since the Chinese Communists had made that extremely difficult, he did not regard it as necessary at this time to comment on future meetings of the SC. President had the gravest difficulty in seeing how relations of the US and the Peking Govt could be worked out in view of the total disregard by latter of international obligations and in view of its treatment of the US Govt and its representatives. Lie thought that in a few months the matter might be altered since he hoped that the Peking Govt would mend its manners. President said that such a development might take place, but that he did not see Signs of it.
Lie then said that he hoped that in the fairly near future the President might find it possible to receive him, with the Sec, to have a longer talk about these matters. President replied that he would be always glad to see Lie, but that his schedule was pretty full at the present time and the meeting would have to wait for a while.
After the interview Lie referred to this suggestion again. Sec said that all three had pretty heavy speaking engagements during the next month or so, but that the matter could be kept in mind for a time when the pressure of work was a little less.
Sec then said to Lie he thought it most important that Lie should not give the impression that something mysterious was about to happen. Lie said he had done his best to counteract such an idea, without much success, but that he would continue to work at this and that he realized he must be very careful because any move that he made could cause a great deal of trouble. Lie told the press that he had had an informal and confidential talk with the President about which he was not at liberty to comment. He added that he wished to make it clear that he was not the bearer of messages between the President and Stalin.
Memo of See’s May 29 conversation with Lie being pouched.2