386.1/3–151: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Kirk) to the Secretary of State 1


1591. I was requested by Gromyko at 11:00 a. m. today, to call on him at 1:40 p. m. The French and British Ambassadors had received similar requests for 1:00 and 1:20 p. m. respectively.

[Page 1085]

Upon receiving me Gromyko presented a very brief note indicating that the Soviet Government considered US note of February 192 as rejection without foundation of facts in Soviet note of February 5, and that Soviet Government affirms its position as set forth in that note. Note concludes with expression of agreement for proposed preliminary meeting of Deputy Foreign Ministers on March 5 in Paris (text contained in preceding telegram3).

I pointed out to Gromyko that note did not indicate whether Soviet Government accepted broader agenda proposed in our note of February 19 and he replied that this was subject for discussion at Paris. When I pressed him further on this point, he replied that all he could say at this time. In accordance with Deptel 537 of February 274 I stressed that US Government took proposed Paris talks seriously and he replied that Soviet Government did likewise as indicated all their notes on subject. After my informing him that Jessup and Bohleri would represent US, Gromyko replied to my query about Soviet representative by stating that he would go to Paris for this purpose. On a question from me Gromyko said there did not seem to be any objection to Washington as place for Minister’s meeting but that this could be discussed at Paris. (Question of terminology i.e. CFM not posed by Gromyko.)

I asked him if note would be released to press and while he said that the Soviet Government did not intend to do so, I did not feel he was being categoric on this point. In brief closing chat, I asked if Vyshinski were away or ill. Apparently somewhat discomfited, Gromyko replied that Vyshinski was not feeling well and perhaps had influenza.

This being one of the rare Moscow sunny days, I remarked upon it and Gromyko countered amiably that such weather should not bring merely light but warmth. I expressed the pious wish that this feeling would pervade the Paris talks and Gromyko came out with the interesting Marxist observation that there should always be a relation between natural and social phenomena.

  1. Repeated to London, Paris, and Frankfurt.
  2. Supra.
  3. Not printed. The note, dated March 1, read:

    “Soviet Government considers that note of Government USA of February 19, 1951 is rejection without foundation of facts cited in Soviet note of February 5 and contains no elements whatever which would require new answer on part Government USSR. Soviet Government affirms its position set forth in its note of February 5.

    “As to question of preliminary meeting in Paris, Soviet Government expresses agreement with proposal for fixing of preliminary meeting of Deputies of Foreign Ministers USA, USSR, Great Britain and France for March 5 in Paris.” (396.1/3–151)

  4. Not printed.