CONFERENCES: Anatomy of Failure

Before the Council of Foreign Ministers met in London, Britain's Ernest Bevin told a friend: "If Molotov bangs his fist on the table and yells at me, I will bang my fist and yell right back at him." This childishness, not to be confused with toughness, befitted neither the great tradition of British diplomacy nor the dire necessities of 1945.

Foreign Commissar Molotov was tougher than ever before, and more tightly bound by his instructions. U.S. Secretary of State Byrnes offered him a compromise (virtually excluding France from Balkan discussions) which was generous to the point of humiliation. Molotov cabled...

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