368. Telegram From the Secretary of State to the Department of State1

Dulte 79. Eyes only Acting Secretary from Secretary. For President:

Dear Mr. President: We started today on the third item of agenda—that is contact between East and West. The experts—Bill Jackson from our side—had been working for past two weeks with very discouraging results.

There seems to be no willingness at all on Soviet side to make any concessions in way of freer flow of information through exchange of broadcasts, information centers and the like.

After session relatively calm at beginning matters became heated largely as a result of Pinay’s presentation and Molotov made a harsh Bolshevik-type statement to effect that bourgeoise powers representing special class interests would never be allowed to see their wares in Soviet Union which was dedicated to preserving a society where workers owned the instruments of production. This was said with cold finality which obviously Molotov as old Bolshevik enjoyed.

We expect to continue discussion tomorrow morning and I doubt we shall reach anything like agreement as Soviets only pick out of our proposals the few that are to their advantage and take nothing that will give us better access to Russian people.

It is always possible that Russians are saving some surprise to last but each day brings what seems fresh confirmation that they would not give anything to get even a modicum of agreement.

With British and French we are thinking of how to wind up conference. My idea is that Foreign Ministers should not commit themselves to another meeting but merely report to heads of government who will then exchange views and decide how further to proceed. Probably French for political purposes would like to hold out greater prospect of another meeting and possibly Germans will also, although in this respect West German opinion is sharply divided. You will, I feel confident, want us to give some weight to German and French views insofar as is compatible with our own self-respect.

Faithfully yours, Foster.

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Administrative Series. Secret; Priority. Received in Washington at 5:24 p.m., November 14, and relayed to Gettysburg as Toget 1.