294. Telegram From the Delegation at the Tripartite Foreign Ministers Meetings to the Department of State1

Secto 26. At meeting between Secretary and Macmillan Oct 25 latter inquired whether it was our intention, as he had been informed, to have question of East-West Trade removed from Item 3 of Geneva talks and put under Item 2. Secretary replied in negative and said US position was we are not prepared discuss question of strategic goods at Geneva. If, as result of Geneva talks, greater security achieved and tensions go down, then list of strategic goods placed under ban would probably also go down. Secretary referred to Macmillan’s statement yesterday2 that Communists put restrictions on all goods and said we agree we should not permit ourselves to be attacked because we have comparatively small restrictions.

Macmillan said he thought our strategic list should be reviewed. Secretary said that in light developments at Geneva we would be willing consider reviewing list following Geneva with view discussion this problem with British on bilateral basis and thereafter with [Page 631] French. Macmillan agreed we would not discuss matter with Soviets at Geneva but that thereafter our two countries would discuss problem on bilateral basis.

Macmillan said he also desired talk some time about lowering level China controls to those of Soviet list. Secretary said while willing discuss China controls with UK with view to possible lowering, we did not agree that they should be lowered to correspond with Soviet list.

  1. Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 60 D 627, CF 565. Secret. Drafted by Russell and cleared with MacArthur and Merchant. Repeated to London.
  2. Supra.