663.001/1–1552: Telegram

No. 786
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom1


3360. In resuming negots Aust Treaty US objective shld be to seek definite Sov position on present draft treaty, to ascertain on what terms Sov wld conclude treaty, and, in event of anticipated, obstructionism, to prepare way for proposing new basis of negots.

Believe Sovs will follow one of three courses of action (1) Sov Deputy may issue propaganda blast against Aust and West Powers, thus blocking conclusion present draft and making more certain Aust settlement dependent on gen Eur settlement or at least settlement Ger problems. (2) Sovs may make new proposal of their own for neutralization Aust, for a Four Power conference, or some other [Page 1726]proposal not heretofore considered. Any such Sov proposal shld be referred to West Govts for consideration on its merits unless it is so obviously a propaganda move that such reference is not warranted. (3) Unlikely alternative is that Sov Deputy may indicate he is prepared to discuss present draft with view to its conclusion.

Dept considers that in gen terms you shld seek to ascertain Sov position by inquiring whether they are prepared to conclude present draft and, if so, on what terms. This inquiry shld be prefaced by review of previous mtgs and summary of reasons why agreement has been impossible. We are willing if necessary to indicate we are prepared to examine any proposals they wish to make for conclusion of treaty, but extreme care must be exercised to avoid making concessions or involve West in any commitment of any nature to make concessions. Dept considers this question can be handled by skillful negots provided West Powers agree that our objective is to obtain definitive Sov statement on treaty, which if negative can justify intro abbreviated treaty.

In event, Sov Deputy indicates willingness to conclude treaty and does not raise extraneous issues, the US will examine his proposals in manner consistent with Secy’s talks with Eden.2 No commitment can be made concerning concessions on specific articles or extent we wld move to obtain conclusion treaty without instrus from Dept. Action of this nature wld require Congressional consultation and decisions at highest level in Washington.

Dept considers that in ur negots you can find acceptable compromise in initial approach to Sovs which does not involve us in any commitment and which satisfies Brit wish to clear field for new basis of negots. We believe Sov Deputy can be maneuvered into position which implies that they wld not accept treaty even on their own terms without making West commitment. It is quite likely that Sov Deputy himself will resolve this problem by refusing to proceed with Aust settlement. Therefore, every effort shld be made to draw out Sov Deputy to propose his program for Aust settlement without directly offering to accept his terms. Dept also considers that if record of negots is published in White Paper and contents and purpose of abbreviated treaty made known, Brit opinion wld endorse this move to obtain an equitable Aust settlement.

In summary, US policy in negots shld be guided by fol principles:

US shld refuse discuss extraneous issues or change agreed arts.
US shld not offer further concessions to Sov but shld be willing to indicate we are prepared to consider sympathetically any Sov [Page 1727]proposals re text of treaty, providing they offer hope of concluding treaty.
Continuity of negots shld be preserved in order ultimate objective of settlement containing minimum requirements for Aust independence can be obtained.
Avoid any situation wherein West Powers can justifiedly be blamed by Austs for blocking settlement.

  1. Drafted by E. P. Allen, Williamson, and Rutter and cleared by Bonbright and (in draft) Perkins. Repeated to Vienna, Moscow, Paris, and Bonn.
  2. Reference to Acheson’s meeting with Eden on Jan. 10; see Document 782.