398.00 MO/3–2052: Telegram

The Chargé in the Soviet Union (Cumming) to the Department of State


1498. Re Depcirctel 786, March 14.1 At this late date Emb believes inadvisable to switch from established US position re Econ Conf and other WPCH maneuvers viz play down significance, discourage attendance, point out true Sov objectives, and to extent possible avoid giving Sovs free publicity. With Conf only two weeks away abrupt US counteraction now might:

Surprise and disconcert our allies who have been brought rather successfully to follow US lead.
Make proposal appear as last minute propaganda gesture which impression not only weakens intrinsic value of proposal but provides backdrop of skepticism for future proposals.
Suggest to Sovs further probes against tender nerve export controls.

At this juncture Emb endorses continuance existing Dept policy. See no objection general statement alluding to hundreds of millions of dollars worth consumer goods in US and Eur which now and since war been available EE. Might also mention hundreds of postwar trade fairs in which all countries free participate and from which millions in trade has arisen.

Recommended that after Moscow Econ Conf US missions abroad submit to Dept appraisal Sov success influencing thinking govts business and gen public respective countries. However, regardless of success or failure Moscow Conf, Emb urges further discussion positive proposals with careful examination their relationship Point IV, MSP, UN as well as reaction US public, free world and Sov Bloc.2

  1. Ante, p. 830.
  2. According to a memorandum by C. Tracy Barnes, the Acting Director of the PSB, Apr. 23, to Under Secretary Bruce, the responses from London and Paris to the PSB plan were similar to that from Moscow. As a result, “it was decided not to use the PSB staff plan to counter the Moscow Economic Conference.” Nevertheless, Acting Director Barnes continued, the PSB staff wished to keep in existence the panel which originated the plan in order to study further whether “positive action can be taken against Soviet psychological strategy in the trade field.” (PSB files, lot 62 D 333, “PSB”) New terms of reference for the panel were thus drafted and approved on June 24. For the contents of these terms of reference and the results of the panel’s activities, see the first progress report on PSB D–28, Jan. 14, 1953, p. 910.