396.1/11–2753: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Aldrich) to the Secretary of State

top secret

2303. Bermuda meeting—atomic energy. British plans for atomic energy talks at Bermuda are shrouded in same uncertainty that envelops other subjects (see Embtel 2294, November 271). We have been able to learn of only two specific subjects Cherwell is likely to bring up in conversations with Admiral Strauss:

Cherwell will probably refer to reports that administration is in favor of extending area of atomic cooperation involving amendment of McMahon Act and ask for detailed information on plans and prospects.
Fact that US and UK have both announced industrial atomic projects raises long term question of uranium supplies. Cherwell may wish to touch on this.

In general we suspect that British approach likely to be shifted from previous emphasis on mutual advantages of trading information. Believe Churchill and Cherwell likely to stress instead extent Soviet atomic development and danger this poses for West, urging that joint US–UK interests demand pooling of effort and arguing that in view extent Soviet knowledge security risk acceptable.

  1. Not printed; in it Aldrich reported that Foreign Office officials were “somewhat vague and uncertain in their prognostications on both form and content of talks, most admitting quite frankly that much depends on the unpredictable Churchill” (396.1/11–2753).