39 Makin to Evatt

Cablegram 606, WASHINGTON, 14 May 1948, 7 p.m.


Your 428.

Following communication received 5 p.m. today from the Secretary of State. Begins - May 14th 1948.

My Dear Mr. Ambassador, I should be grateful if you would transmit the following message to Dr. Evatt - 'The President has asked me to reply to the message which you were good enough to send him in respect to the problem of Palestine. The President and I appreciate the high purpose which motivated you to offer your assistance in arranging a meeting between the leaders of the three great powers for the purpose of settling this and other problems which threaten the maintenance of peace.

It is the view of the United States Government that the current situation in Palestine is such that the most urgent problem is to prevent the spread of armed conflict which threatens to cost the lives of countless Jews and Arabs. The United States Government is making strenuous efforts in the Special Assembly to prevent further bloodshed.

[matter omitted][1]

We do not believe, however, that in the present circumstances a meeting of the Heads of Government would serve a useful purpose. On the contrary, since it would dramatically raise the hopes of the peoples of the world, its probable failure under existing conditions would result in a very depressing reaction which would make basis for eventual solution of the many problems all the more difficult.' You will have seen the reports of the recent interview[2] between the American Ambassador in Moscow and the Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as the statements made to the Press by the President and myself concerning this matter. I believe those statements make clear the position of this Government.

Faithfully yours, G.C. MARSHALL (Signed)

[1] The omitted material refers to meetings of the great powers since 1943 and US willingness to advance constructive proposals whenever the opportunity arose.

[2] See Document 285, note 4.

[AA : A3195, 1948, I.8114]