343. Telegram From the President to the Department of State 1
Dento 6. From the President to the Secretary of State.
Dear Foster: Of course do not have the text of Molotov’s speech, but I think I sense its character and tone from the language of your message to me, Toden 19.2 I agree with the conclusion you have reached in your paragraph beginning “We shall have to reply tomorrow at four o’clock” and ending “We shall probably quickly reach [Page 727] the end of our agenda.” The question arises whether or not you should include in your reply a statement that you had communicated with me and that I had expressed astonishment at what appears to be, so far as we can see, a deliberate repudiation of prior intentions, in fact, a breach of good faith. If you see any advantage in quoting me to this effect, I approve of your action in advance.
In such atmosphere, and specifically, with the repudiation of the prior agreement that German reunification and European security were closely linked, there seems to be little value in dragging out the conference. While I think we should be careful to maintain for them a line of retreat from the posture they now seem to assure, if they voluntarily choose to do so, I must say that at this point there certainly seems to be little reason for believing that they want to change. However, we must always maintain the position of reasonable men, willing to give them a chance to explain away such statements if they truly desire to do so.
Finally, I agree with the last paragraph of your statement. I know how frustrated and saddened you must feel at the development you have encountered. You have the satisfaction of knowing no human could have done more.
With warm regard,