761.56/8–450: Telegram

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


301. Embtel 289, August 3.1 Discussed with Gromyko for about 15 minutes matter of Soviet reply our notes 15 June lend lease negotiations, finding him well informed on background material but apparently not fully aware our proposed meeting 15 July. Regarding patent compensation he recalled Miller settlement but when I asked why other 6 were left unresolved for some 5 years he hedged on basis attitude patent holders not cooperative but finally shifted position saying that Soviet Embassy Washington had competence through experts under its authority. I said I hoped indeed these companies might be speedily compensated.

Re note 1262 Gromyko squirmed over delay in return ice breakers and 186 other types saying former stuck in icepack but good chance [Page 1312] getting clear later on this season and that latter were pretty old. My response was that returning small craft was not much of problem and that many of them could not really be classified as “overage”.

We then turned to over-all settlement and he said our last note had contained no new offer. That I said was correct as we had scaled down from 2,600 to 1,300 to 1,000 million and a reasonable offer was now due from Soviets who had only raised from 175 to 200 million—figures which could hardly be called very substantial in view of total initial cost to US. He then produced familiar theme of less favored treatment which I said we felt was not the case, that we were suggesting very liberal credit in terms of length and interest rate 2 percent. I said this settlement had been hanging fire long while and was one matter on which 2 governments ought to reach solution and we had offered renew negotiations 15 July last. To this he replied time was too short (30 days) and that both our notes were being given careful consideration and would be answered in due course.3

  1. In telegram 75 from Washington on July 26, not printed, Ambassador Alan G. Kirk had been requested to inquire when a reply to the two United States notes of June 15 could be expected from the Soviet Government. The Ambassador answered in telegram 289 from Moscow on August 3, not printed, that he had an appointment to see the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrey Andreyevich Gromyko at 3 p. m., on the next day. (761.56/7–2650, 761.56/8–350)
  2. The reference is to the second note of June 15 sent to the Embassy of the Soviet Union. The note itself was not numbered.
  3. Secretary of State Acheson responded in telegram 114 to Moscow on August 9, stating that the Department “believes your excellent presentation has laid ground well for future action.” (761.56/8–450)