396.1/2–951: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom 1

secret

3744. At tripartite mtg this morning re proposed talks with USSR,2 we informally submitted draft possible reply Sov note Feb 5 as tentative basis for discussion. Text draft as submitted and still being considered in Dept follows in next tel.3

We emphasized our present draft merely tentative but embodied our understanding of informal opinions reps of three govts expressed last tripartite mtg Feb 6.

Both Brit and Fr Ambs also emphasized they cld comment only informally and wld refer text their govts. Brit Amb took line that first seven paras draft went beyond previously agreed policy in fixing responsibility on Sov Union for aggressive actions its satellites especially aggression in Korea and presented too monolithic picture of Sov aggressive tactics throughout world. For example he questioned whether Chi Govt, while pursuing policies parallel Sovs, was under domination of latter to extent implied in our recital. He expressed doubts although agreeing with accuracy of picture so presented, that Brit Govt cld accept this in its entirety as proper counter blast at this juncture to Sov propaganda in last Sov note since it was important for Brit opinion that we do not appear in our reply to be entering negots in a totally negative manner.

Fr Amb thought that material in first seven paras cld be compressed and shortened to make counter blast sharp and concise with [Page 1076]chief emphasis on disparity in existing level armaments and aggressive policies Sov Govt. He also doubted wisdom mentioning Korea.

Both Brit and Fr were in general agreement with us on subjs suggested for broadening agenda and on desirability seeking Sov agreement inclusion such topics on agenda before prelim mtg Park. Suggested date of mtg considered satis.

Above for your background info only.

Acheson
  1. This telegram, drafted by Davis and cleared by Bonbright and Jessup, was repeated to Frankfurt, Paris, and Moscow.
  2. On January 31 the first of a series of informal meetings among representatives of the United States, United Kingdom, and France had been held at Washington to discuss questions relating to a Four-Power meeting. The representatives met nine times in all with the last meeting taking place on February 27. A set of the records of decisions for all the meetings and a set of summary records of the last eight meetings are in the CFM files, lot M–88, box 157, tripartite discussions, Washington, February 1951.
  3. Telegram 3745, infra.