396.1/12–450: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Bruce) to the Secretary of State

top secret

3125. Our immediately following telegram contains a first draft of possible reply to Soviet note as promised in telecon.1 This text which is designed to indicate type of approach we have in mind can obviously be refined and improved in drafting if general line of approach is acceptable.

Following observations we believe will help clarify what we had in mind in drawing it up in this manner:

Since the central Soviet purpose is to divide and confuse the West, our efforts must be directed to frustrating this purpose. The chief danger of its success in our opinion lies in the different climate existing Western Europe (including the UK) and that as we understand it in the US. The chief task, therefore, of tripartite talks will be to reconcile the different reactions which could be expected in these two fields of public and political opinion.
The present draft differs from that of Department’s primarily in:
Asserting after acknowledgment our positive adherence to the principle of negotiation;
Being somewhat more selective in rejecting the basis proposed in Soviet note and,
Introducing in the light of Korean developments the chief threat to world, i.e., intervention of Chinese Communists.
We have avoided specific reference to Syrian-Iraqi resolution or to duties of Four Powers as permanent members of SC since we still feel despite the qualification “of collectively or separately” that the intent of that resolution was not to exclude completely any permanent member of the SC.
We have avoided any detailed accusations against the Russians on grounds of violation of Potsdam for reasons indicated in telecon in order to avoid possibly digging ourselves in on basis of fidelity to terms of Potsdam re demilitarization of Germany.

In view of importance of the state of American public opinion which we are in no position to judge and which will be a powerful factor in determining our attitude on this question, we think it might be well to consider sending to Paris for these talks some Departmental officer (possibly Reinhardt2) who would be able to give us an estimate of US public reaction on this subject.

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British Embassy has informed us that they will not be ready to start discussions here until Thursday.

Department pass Moscow. Sent Department 3125; repeated info London 763, Moscow 109, Frankfort 355.

  1. The telecon message under reference here has not been identified further.
  2. Presumably a reference to G. Frederick Reinhardt, Director of the Office of Eastern European Affairs.