Publication: The Daily Telegraph

Full Citation

  • Title Moscow: ‘Still No Conclusions’
  • Author By Our Diplomatic Correspondent
  • Publication Title The Daily Telegraph
  • Collection The Daily Telegraph
  • Date Friday,  Aug. 13, 1948
  • Issue Number 29059
  • Page Number [1]
  • Place of Publication London, England
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library The Telegraph Media Group
  • Copyright Statement © Telegraph Media Group Limited.
MOSCOW: STILL NO CONCLUSIONS' U.S. ENVOY'S COMMENT AFTER NEW TALK ** MOLOTOV TOLD TERMS UNACCEPTABLE ANOTHER KREMLIN MEETING EXPECTED BY OUR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT The envoys of Britain, the United States and France, Mr. Frank Roberts, Mr. Bedell Smith and M. Yves Chataigneau, saw M. Molotov, the Soviet Foreign Minister, in the Kremlin at 5 p.m. (3 p.m. B.S.T.) yesterday in the continuing negotiations on the blockade of Berlin. The meeting lasted 2 hours and 40 minutes. According to Moscow messages last night, Mr. Bedell Smith was asked after the meeting whether it was the last with M. Molotov. He replied: "We never know, but I do not think so." Mr. Bedell Smith is reported to have added: "We are still without any conclusions." This was the first time he had gone beyond a terse, " No comment," after the Kremlin meetings. Later he said: "Well, it was a pleasant talk and it was shorter than last time." Monday's talk lasted three hours and 10 minutes. M. Smirnov, a Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister aild an expert on Germany, was present at the conference with M. Molotov as he had been at those previously. After leaving the Kremlin, the envoys went to the American Embassy. It was the envoys' fourth meeting with M. Molotov since he returned to Moscow from holiday on July 30. He was also present when M. Stalin received the envoys on Aug. 2. Yesterday's conference was held in an atmosphere of more pessimism than hitherto. OfBcial secrecy about the progress of the negotiations is still maintained, but there seems little doubt that a 'crisis had been reached at the end of Monday's talks UNACCEPTABLE PLANS Talks May Collapse The New York Times reported from London yesterday: " Unless there is a change in the Russian stand, there is every probability that the Four lewises will haye to-register their inability to agree." It is believed that the Western representatives had been instructed to tell M. Molotov yesterday that his previous proposals were unacceptable and that the earlier position outlined by the envoys was maintained. This position, according to pronouncements by Mr. Bevin and Mr. Marshall, American Secretary of State, is that the blockade of Berlin must be lifted before there can be any more Four-Power talks on Germany. The Russians are thought to have refused to lift the blockade unless the three Western Powers agree to the uncontrolled circulation in Beilin of Russian currency, the East mark. They are believed to have reiterated their claim for a share in the control of the Ruhr, and to have demanded the abandonment of the Western Powers' plans to establish a Government for Western Germany. If the envoys told M. Molotov yesterday that his previous proposals were unacceptable, it is difficult to see how the negotiations can continue unless the Russians are prepared to make a last-minute change in policy. If the Russians regard their demands as final, it would appear that the negotiations must collapse. In the absence of any official news, it is impossible to say whether any modification of the Russian proposals is likely. The evidence from recent Russian pronouncements on Germany seem strongly against it. AIR LIFT POINTER No Ending of Blockade The arrival in Berlin on Wednesday of Mr. Symington, United States Secretary of Air, and Gen. Hoyt Vandentberg, Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, to discuss the increasing of the flow of food and supplies to the city is suggestive. It may mean that those who know what is going on in the Moscow talks do not consider that a lifting of the blockade is imminent. There is a growing feeling that, if the Moscow negotiations fail, the Berlin and German crisis will be taken to the United Nations. This, however, would take time. w c s e