663.001/1–2750: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Paris 1


600. Fol is text Gruber’s ltr dtd Feb 6 on report of bilateral negots:2

“As is known, systematic rumors have been circulated, according to which Aust Govt, apart from its contact concerning the subject matter of Art 48 bis of the draft of the State Treaty is alleged to have entered into bilateral negots with Sov Union also in regard to other matters concerning the State Treaty. Since these rumors have apparently had a wide coverage, I am prompted to make the following statements.

First of all, I shld like to be permitted to state categorically that the rumors according to which there have been or are now bilateral negots between Aust and Sov Union without prior notification to Western powers, other than matters concerning Art 48 bis have no basis in fact. Nor was any initiative along such lines taken by Sov side.

Such rumors are apparently being launched by journalistic or other circles which appear to have as their motive not only a disturbance of public opinion, but also creation of dissonance between Aust and Western powers. Aust Govt has left nothing undone in order to refute such incorrect allegations.

In any event, I shld like again to state in name Federal Govt that Aust Govt regards as fundamental to its foreign policy that all essential questions and all decisive steps to be undertaken in Aust’s relations with Sov Union shall be brought to attention of Govts of Western powers in advance and that such steps shall always be in accord with Aust’s entire policy of protecting Aust from every kind of infiltration from a ‘people’s’ democracy.”3

Gruber’s second communication on Treaty tactics4 is comparable to Aide-Mémoire to Schuman (Delau 416 Jan 275), contents will be transmitted if copy not available in London and Paris.6

  1. Repeated to London as 677, Moscow as 126, and Vienna as 248.
  2. Identical letters were sent to Acheson, Bevin, and Schuman. (Memorandum from Lleyellyn E. Thompson, Jr., Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, to Secretary Acheson, February 20, not printed, 663.001/2–2050.)
  3. On February 13 Under Secretary Webb presented a copy of this letter to President Truman who “read it with considerable interest.” Webb told the President that the Department of State’s view “was that this tended to confirm a suspicion that the Soviets had engaged in a deliberate ‘plant’ and that the Foreign Minister could not expect to get away with such a flat denial if he were involved.” Memorandum by Webb, February 15, not printed (663.001/2–1550).
  4. Not printed.
  5. Not printed, but see footnote 3, p. 445.
  6. Translations of both letters, to which are attached the original German texts as delivered to the Department of State, bear the handwritten interpolations “The Sec[retary] has seen. L[ucius] D. B[attle].”