298 Bruce to Curtin

Cablegram 186[A] LONDON, 13 October 1943, 7.30 p.m.

SECRET

Post War Civil Aviation. As indicated in my telegram 159A of September 10th [1] the intention was that the Empire discussions [2] should have been followed by a joint Anglo-American-Soviet meeting, the time and place of which was to be agreed at the Foreign Secretary's conference in Moscow.

Mainly as a result of Beaverbrook's [3] intervention, the United Kingdom Government now propose that Beaverbrook, accompanied by Leathers, should proceed to Washington in the immediate future for informal discussions with the Americans at which Beaverbrook would disclose the general line of our thought as crystallised in the Empire meeting which has just taken place. It is then possible that after his informal talks with the Americans, Beaverbrook should proceed to Moscow for similar informal talks with the Russians. In any event it is proposed that Eden should inform the Russians both of the Empire talks here and the informal discussions in Washington and suggest either similar informal talks with the Russians or the original contemplated Anglo- American-Soviet meeting. Which of these two latter alternatives he will suggest will be determined in the light of developments over the next few days.

Your personal information. This question has now, as a result of Beaverbrook's temperament, got into an atmosphere of hustle which has its advantages in view of the urgency of the problem being faced but has its dangers which have to be safeguarded against.

I attach great importance to and derive considerable comfort from the fact that it is contemplated that Leathers should accompany Beaverbrook to Washington.

BRUCE

1 On file AA:M100, September 1943.

2 See Document 299.

3 Beaverbrook was chairman of the Empire discussions and was responsible for the co-ordination of British civil aviation policy.

[AA:A989, 43/735/832/5]