396.1–GE/3–1754: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Bohlen) to the Department of State


1086, Repeated information niact London 157, Paris 216. Following in rough translation is text of aide-mémoire handed to me today at 5 p.m. by Kuznetsov in answer to one I left with him on March 5:1

“In connection with aide-mémoire of Government of United States of America of March 5 concerning certain questions in preparation for the calling of a conference in Geneva on April 26, 1954, there are transmitted the view of Soviet Government. These views were discussed with Government of Chinese People’s Republic which has stated that it shares them.

“The proposal that the conference should be held in the Building of Palais des Nations at Geneva is acceptable.

“Considering the composition of participants of the conference it appears expedient to establish that the official and working languages of the conference should be English, French, Chinese and Russian.

“Furthermore, it should be possible to adopt a procedure whereby the delegates themselves would assure the translation of documents received from other delegates and the dissemination of their own documents in one of the official languages.

“Insofar as oral translation at the sessions is concerned, it should be possible to agree that following the statement of a delegate in one of the official languages an oral interpretation should be made into another one of the official languages and at the same time there would be carried out simultaneously the translation into the remaining official languages using the system existing in the Palais des Nations suitable for simultaneous translation. The question of the order of languages in consecutive translation requires further clarification.

“It would be expedient that the representatives of one of the powers, for example French, should agree on the basis of the above-mentioned considerations, with Secretariat of UN concerning the conditions of use for the conference in Geneva of the Building of the Palais des Nations and its system of simultaneous translation.

“The proposal that the expenses for common services of the conference should be borne by the participating states and that the method of apportioning expenses should be established before the beginning of the conference is acceptable.”

  1. Ante, p. 28.