Since your telephone talk with Hodgson we have spoken to Bevin, Strang, Hood and with other Dominions. Strang says that the United Kingdom and U.S.A. will support our view for full discussions and participation at this stage of all allies, but France and Soviet were noncommittal prior to the meeting this afternoon. All however seem to be agreed that the only duty of the Deputies at these London meetings, and at this first preliminary stage starting post, is to hear the views of the allies, and they are instructed merely to report those views to Moscow. Thus they do not even submit recommendations as to principles or any agreed views, let alone draft an interim agreement. You will recall you suggested this as an immediate step.
There are 17 countries submitting long papers which have to be digested and collated before they can commence their report. They fear the time factor alone will prevent general discussion by all countries. However they will press our points this afternoon but emphasise that this is only the first stage in what may be a very long process. We are in at the start despite Soviet opposition at New York and there is no reason why we should be excluded at any subsequent stage when the Council of Foreign Ministers issue directives for the consideration and formulation of actual treaty or interim agreement terms, assuming the Council of Foreign Ministers accept at Moscow our proposals for the latter.
You will appreciate that in earlier Commonwealth talks Bevin and other representatives had no clear ideas as to how far these meetings would go, or on what lines they would proceed, but now the position is clearer. We may not achieve all your desiderata at this first stage but are very hopeful that we will be fully and actively associated throughout all subsequent formalities.