387 Watt to Burton

Cablegram 21 Moscow, 21 January 1948, 7.45 p.m.


Your telegram 11. [1]


1. I agree that Australian initiative seems necessary and the proposed assurance to the Soviet should be sufficient. At the same time I doubt whether the Soviet will accept any proposal which they will regard as a restriction on comprehensive veto rights.

Moreover, besides legalizing their own territorial acquisitions they probably wish to prevent certain possible United States acquisitions. Reparations issue may also be important for them.

2. Have twice tried without success to waylay Vyshinski at social functions. Request for formal interviews have to be spaced out as recently he has been inaccessible to some heads of Missions, and I hesitate to ask for a formal appointment to discuss the Japanese Settlement on a tentative basis, as distinct from making specific proposals, but will do so if you think this necessary. [2]

Please advise.

1 Document 386.

2 Watt discussed the Australian proposals with V.A. Zorin, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, on 29 January 1948 and, on 19 February, with Yerofeev, head of the Second European Division. See cablegram 61, dispatched 19 February 1948.

[AA:A3195, 1948 1.1236]