Your message of December 31 received.
I am very sorry that I have not succeeded in convincing you of the correctness of the Soviet Government’s stand on the Polish question. Nevertheless, I hope events will convince you that the National Committee has always given important help to the Allies, and continues to do so, particularly to the Red Army, in the struggle against Hitler Germany, while the émigré Government in London is disorganising that struggle, thereby helping the Germans.
Of course I quite understand your proposal for postponing recognition of the Provisional Government of Poland by the Soviet Union for a month. But one circumstance makes me powerless to comply with your wish. The point is that on December 27 the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R., replying to a corresponding question by the Poles, declared that it would recognise the Provisional Government of Poland the moment it was set up. This circumstance makes me powerless to comply with your wish.
Allow me to congratulate you on the New Year and to wish you good health and success.
January 1, 1945
Today, January 15, I had a talk with Marshal Tedder and the generals accompanying him. In my view the information we exchanged was complete enough. Both parties gave exhaustive answers to the questions. I must say that I was most impressed by Marshal Tedder.
After four days of offensive operations on the Soviet-German front I am now in a position to inform you that our offensive is making satisfactory progress despite unfavourable weather. The entire Central Front – from the Carpathians to the Baltic Sea – is moving westwards. The Germans, though resisting desperately, are retreating. I feel sure that they will have to disperse their reserves between the two fronts and, as a result, relinquish the offensive on the Western Front. I am glad that this circumstance will ease the position of the Allied troops in the West and expedite preparations for the offensive planned by General Eisenhower.
As regards the Soviet troops, you may rest assured that, despite the difficulties, they will do all in their power to make the blow as effective as possible.
January 15, 1945
Received on January 18, 1945
Many thanks for your encouraging message of January 15 regarding your conference with Air Marshal Tedder and the offensive of your armies on the Soviet-German front.
Your heroic soldiers’ past performance and the efficiency they have already demonstrated in this offensive give high promise of an early success to our armies on both fronts. The time required to force surrender upon our barbarian enemies will be radically reduced by skillful coordination of our combined efforts.
America, as you know, is putting forth a great effort in the Pacific at a distance of seven thousand miles and my hope is that an early collapse Germany will permit the movement to the Pacific area of sufficient forces to destroy quickly the menace of Japan to all of our Allies.
Received on January 23, 1845
I have decided to permit only a small group of uniformed service
photographers from the American Navy to take the pictures that we will
want at “Argonaut”80 and not to have any
press representatives. Prime Minister Churchill agrees with this.
I have received your cable about the attendance of press representatives and photographers at “Argonaut.”80 I have nothing against your suggestions.
I have sent a similar reply to the Prime Minister’s71 query.
January 23, 1945
Received on January 26, 1945
Allow me to express my deep personal regret at the death of the Soviet Ambassador to Mexico.
Mr Oumansky made many friends in Washington, and we knew him well during the period of his services as Ambassador here.
Thank you for the condolences on the occasion of the tragic death of the Soviet Ambassador in Mexico, K. A. Oumansky, whose work was highly valued by the Soviet Government.
January 29, 1945
Sent on January 30, 1945
Please accept, Mr President, my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes on the occasion of your birthday.
Received on February 2, 1945
Allow me to express my appreciation for the kind message of congratulations which you were good enough to send me on the anniversary of my birthday.
The following are two basic military questions to which the United States Chiefs of Staff would appreciate an early answer at this conference.81
(a) Once war breaks out between Russia and Japan, is it essential to you that a supply line be kept open across the Pacific to Eastern Siberia?
(b) Will you assure us that United States air forces will be permitted to base in the Komsomolsk-Nikolayevsk or some more suitable area providing developments show that these air forces can be operated and supplied without jeopardizing Russian operations?82
February 5, 1945
Koreiz, the Crimea
My dear Marshal Stalin,
I have been giving a great deal of thought to our meeting this afternoon, and I want to tell you in all frankness what is on my mind.
In so far as the Polish Government is concerned, I am greatly disturbed that the three Great Powers do not have a meeting of minds about the political set up in Poland. It seems to me that it puts all of us in a bad light throughout the world to have you recognizing one government while we and the British are recognizing another in London. I am sure the state of affairs should not continue and that if it does it can only lead our people to think there is a breach between us, which is not the case. I am determined that there shall be no breach between ourselves and the Soviet Union. Surely there is a way to reconcile our differences.
I was very much impressed with some of the things you said today, particularly your determination that your rear must be safeguarded as your army moves into Berlin. You cannot, and we must not, tolerate any temporary government which will give your armed forces any trouble of this sort. I want you to know that I am fully mindful of this.
You must believe me when I tell you that our people at home look with a critical eye on what they consider a disagreement between us at this vital stage of the war. They, in effect, say that if we cannot get a meeting of minds now when our armies are converging on the common enemy, how can we get an understanding on even more vital things in the future.
I have had to make it clear to you that we cannot recognize the Lublin Government83 as now composed, and the world would regard it as a lamentable outcome of our work here if we parted with an open and obvious divergence between us on this issue.
You said today that you would be prepared to support any suggestions for the solution of this problem which offered a fair chance of success, and you also mentioned the possibility of bringing some members of the Lublin Government here.
Realizing that we all have the same anxiety in getting this matter settled, I would like to develop your proposal a little and suggest that we invite here to Yalta at once Mr. Bierut and Mr Osubka Morawski from the Lublin Government and also two or three from the following list of Poles, which according to our information would be desirable as representatives of the other elements of the Polish people in the development of a new temporary government which all three of us could recognize and support: Bishop Sapieha of Cracow, Vincente Witos, Mr Zurlowski, Professor Buyak, and Professor Kutzeba. If, as a result of the presence of these Polish leaders here, we could jointly agree with them on a provisional government in Poland which should no doubt include some Polish leaders from abroad such as Mr Mikolajczyk, Mr Grabski and Mr Romer, the United States Government, and I feel sure the British Government as well, would then be prepared to examine with you conditions in which they would dissociate themselves from the London government and transfer their recognition to the new provisional government.
I hope I do not have to assure you that the United States will never lend its support in any way to any provisional government in Poland that would be inimical to your interests.
It goes without saying that any interim government which could be formed as a result of our conference with the Poles here would be pledged to the holding of free elections in Poland at the earliest possible date. I know this is completely consistent with your desire to see a new free and democratic Poland emerge from the welter of this war.
Most sincerely yours,
Franklin D. Roosevelt
February 6, 1945
The full potential of the United States air forces now based in South-eastern Italy is not being realized due to excessive distances from the only available bases to targets in enemy territory and bad weather that is frequently encountered over the Alps and the Northern Adriatic. The staging or basing of fighters in the Budapest area would be of particular importance in providing the heavy fighter escort which is now required on deep penetrations and which may be increasingly necessary with the recent revival of German fighter strength employing jet-propelled aircraft. Also, the staging of heavy bombers in the Budapest area would considerably increase the radius of action and bomb tonnage delivered against targets north of the Alps by United States air forces.
Therefore your agreement is requested to the provision of two airdromes in the Budapest area for use by United States air units. If you agree, our military staffs can begin work on this project at once.84
February 7, 1945
Koreiz, the Crimea
My dear Marshal Stalin,
In connection with the tragic death in an airplane accident of your Ambassador to Mexico, Mr Oumansky, his wife and three secretaries of the Soviet Embassy, it has occurred to me that you might wish to have their remains sent back by United States Army plane either to Fairbanks, Alaska, for transfer to a Soviet plane, or, if you prefer, the United States Army plane could proceed with these remains direct to Moscow.
If you will let me know which of these alternatives you consider most desirable, I will be glad to have your wishes carried out.
I make the above suggestion on behalf of the American Government and people, who have been deeply shocked by this tragic occurrence.
Most sincerely yours,
Franklin D. Roosevelt
February 7, 1945
Received on February 8, 1945
An urgent need exists for the earliest possible survey of targets bombed by the U.S. Strategic Air Forces, similar to the survey made of Ploesti. To be effective, investigation must be instituted before tangible evidence is destroyed and personnel present during the bombing are removed from the area.
Details of the survey requirements are being passed to Marshal Khudyakov.
I request your agreement to the conduct of these surveys.84
Franklin D. Roosevelt
“Livadia,” the Crimea
My dear Mr Roosevelt,
Please accept my thanks for the sentiments expressed on behalf of the American people and the U.S. Government on the occasion of the tragic death of the Soviet Ambassador in Mexico, K. A. Oumansky, his wife and the three members of the Embassy staff.
The Soviet Government gratefully accepts your offer to have their remains sent to Moscow by a U.S. Army plane.
Yours very sincerely,
Koreiz, February 9, 1945
Koreiz, the Crimea
My dear Marshal Stalin,
I have been thinking, as I must, of possible political difficulties which I might encounter in the United States in connection with the number of votes which the Big Powers will enjoy in the Assembly of the World Organization. We have agreed, and I shall certainly carry out that agreement, to support at the forthcoming United Nations14 Conference the admission of the Ukrainian and White Russian Republics as members of the Assembly of the World Organization. I am somewhat concerned lest it be pointed out that the United States will have only one vote in the Assembly. It may be necessary for me, therefore, if I am to insure wholehearted acceptance by the Congress and people of the United States of our participation in the World Organization, to ask for additional votes in the Assembly in order to give parity to the United States.
I would like to know, before I face this problem, that you would perceive no objection and would support a proposal along this line if it is necessary for me to make it at the forthcoming conference. I would greatly appreciate your letting me have your views in reply to this letter.
Most sincerely yours,
Franklin D. Roosevelt
February 10, 1945
“Livadia,” the Crimea
My dear Mr Roosevelt,
Your letter of February 10 received. I fully agree with you that because the Soviet Union’s votes will increase to three owing to the admission of the Soviet Ukraine and Soviet Byelorussia to Assembly membership, the number of U.S. votes should likewise be increased.
I think that the U.S. votes should be raised to three as in the case of the Soviet Union and its two main Republics. If necessary, I am prepared to give official endorsement to this proposal.
Most sincerely yours,
Koreiz, February 11, 1945
Received on February 13, 1945
I wish again, upon leaving the hospitable shores of the Soviet Union, to tell you how deeply grateful I am for the many kindnesses which you showed me while I was your guest in the Crimea. I leave greatly heartened as a result of the meeting between you, the Prime Minister71 and myself. The peoples of the world, I am sure, will regard the achievements of this meeting not only with approval but as a genuine assurance that our three great nations can work in peace as well as they have in war.
Received on February 23, 1945
In anticipation of our common victory against the Nazi oppressors I
wish to take this opportunity to extend my heartiest congratulations to
you as Supreme Commander on this, the twenty-seventh anniversary of the
founding of the Red Army. The far-reaching decisions we took at Yalta
will hasten victory and the establishment of a firm foundation for a
lasting peace. The continued outstanding achievements of the Red Army
together with the all-out effort of the United Nations14 forces in the South
and the West assure the speedy attainment of our common goal – a
peaceful world based upon mutual understanding and cooperation.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Sent on February 27, 1945
The White House, Washington
Please accept, Mr President, my gratitude for your friendly greetings on the occasion of the 27th anniversary of the Red Army.
I am confident that the further strengthening of cooperation between
our two countries, which found expression in the decisions of the
Crimea Conference, will shortly lead to the complete defeat of our
common enemy and to a lasting peace based on the principle of
cooperation among all freedom-loving nations.
Received on March 4, 1945
I have reliable information regarding the difficulties which are being encountered in collecting, supplying, and evacuating American ex-prisoners of war and American aircraft crews who are stranded east of the Russian lines. It is urgently requested that instructions be issued authorizing ten American aircraft with American crews to operate between Poltava85 and places in Poland where American ex-prisoners of war and stranded airmen may be located. This authority is requested for the purpose of providing supplementary clothing, medical and food supplies for all American soldiers, to evacuate stranded aircraft crews and liberated prisoners of war, and especially to transfer the injured and sick to the American hospital at Poltava. I regard this request to be of the greatest importance not only for humanitarian reasons but also by reason of the intense interest of the American public in the welfare of our ex-prisoners of war and stranded aircraft crews.
Secondly, on the general matter of prisoners of war still in German hands, I feel that we ought to do something quickly. The number of these prisoners of war, Russian, British and United States, is very large. In view of your disapproval of the plan we submitted, what do you suggest instead?
Your message of March 4 about prisoners of war received. I have again conferred with our local representatives in charge of this matter and can tell you the following:
The difficulties which arose during the early stages of the speedy evacuation of American prisoners of war from the zones of direct military operations have decreased substantially. At present the special agency set up by the Soviet Government to take care of foreign prisoners of war has adequate personnel, transport facilities and food supplies, and whenever new groups of American prisoners of war are discovered steps are taken at once to help them and to evacuate them to assembly points for subsequent repatriation. According to the information available to the Soviet Government, there is now no accumulation of U.S. prisoners of war on Polish territory or in other areas liberated by the Red Army, because all of them, with the exception of individual sick men who are in hospital, have been sent to the assembly point in Odessa, where 1,200 U.S. prisoners of war have arrived so far and the arrival of the remainder is expected shortly. Hence there is no need at the moment for U.S. planes to fly from Poltava85 to Polish territory in connection with U.S. prisoners of war. You may rest assured that appropriate measures will immediately be taken also with regard to American aircraft crews making a forced landing. This, however, does not rule out cases in which the help of U.S. aircraft may be required. In this event the Soviet military authorities will request the U.S. military representatives in Moscow to send U.S. aircraft from Poltava.
As at the moment I have no proposals to make concerning the status of the Allied prisoners of war in German hands, I should like to assure you that we shall do all we can to provide them with facilities as soon as they find themselves on territory captured by Soviet troops.
March 5, 1945
Received on March 4, 1945
In the matter of evacuation of American ex-prisoners of war from Poland I have been informed that the approval for General Deane to survey the United States prisoners of war situation in Poland has been withdrawn. You stated in your last message to me that there was no need to accede to my request that American aircraft be allowed to carry supplies to Poland and to evacuate the sick. I have information that I consider positive and reliable that there are still a considerable number of sick and injured Americans in hospitals in Poland and also that there have been, certainly up to the last days and possibly still are, large numbers of other liberated American prisoners either at Soviet assembly points awaiting entrainment to Odessa or wandering about in small groups not in contact with Soviet authorities looking for American contact officers.
I cannot, in all frankness, understand your reluctance to permit American contact officers, with the necessary means, to assist their own people in this matter. This Government has done everything to meet each of your requests. I now request you to meet mine in this particular matter. Please call Ambassador Harriman to explain to you in detail my desires.
I am in receipt of your message about the evacuation of former U.S. prisoners of war from Poland.
With regard to your information about allegedly large numbers of sick and injured Americans in Poland or awaiting evacuation to Odessa, or who have not contacted the Soviet authorities, I must say that the information is inaccurate. Actually, apart from a certain number who are on their way to Odessa, there were only 17 sick U.S. servicemen on Polish soil as of March 16. I have today received a report which says that the 17 men will be flown to Odessa in a few days.
With reference to the request contained in your message I must say that if it concerned me personally I would be ready to give way even to the detriment of my own interests. But in the given instance the matter concerns the interests of Soviet armies at the front and of Soviet commanders who do not want to have around odd officers who, while having no relation to the military operations, need looking after, want all kinds of meetings and contacts, protection against possible acts of sabotage by German agents not yet ferreted out, and other things that divert the attention of the commanders and their subordinates from their direct duties. Our commanders bear full responsibility for the state of affairs at the front and in the immediate rear, and I do not see how I can restrict their rights to any extent.
I must also say that U.S. ex-prisoners of war liberated by the Red Army have been treated to good conditions in Soviet camps – better conditions than those afforded Soviet ex-prisoners of war in U.S. camps, where some of them were lodged with German war prisoners and were subjected to unfair treatment and unlawful persecutions, including beating, as has been communicated to the U.S. Government on more than one occasion.
March 22, 1945
Received on March 25, 1945
The State Department has just been informed by Ambassador Gromyko concerning the composition of the Soviet Delegation to the San Francisco Conference.86 We have the highest regard for Ambassador Gromyko’s character and capabilities and know that he would ably represent the Soviet Union. Nevertheless I cannot help but be deeply disappointed that Mr Molotov apparently does not plan to attend. Recalling the friendly and fruitful cooperation at Yalta between Mr Molotov, Mr Eden and Mr Stettinius, I know that the Secretary of State has been looking forward to continuing at San Francisco in the same spirit the joint work for the eventual realization of our common goal – the establishment of an effective international organization to insure for the world a secure and peaceful future.
The Conference, without Mr Molotov’s presence, will be deprived of a very great asset. If his pressing and heavy responsibilities in the Soviet Union make it impossible for him to stay for the entire Conference, I hope very much that you will find it possible to let him come at least for the vital opening sessions. All sponsoring Powers and the majority of the other countries attending will be represented by their Ministers of Foreign Affairs. In these circumstances I am afraid that Mr Molotov’s absence will be construed all over the world as a lack of comparable interest in the great objectives of this Conference on the part of the Soviet Government.
Received on March 25, 1945
Ambassador Harriman has communicated to me a letter which he has received from Mr Molotov regarding an investigation being made by Field Marshal Alexander into a reported possibility of obtaining the surrender of part or all of the German army87 in Italy. In this letter Mr Molotov demands that, because of the non-participation therein of Soviet officers, this investigation to be undertaken in Switzerland should be stopped forthwith.
The facts of this matter I am sure have, through a misunderstanding, not been correctly presented to you. The following are the facts:
Unconfirmed information was received some days ago in Switzerland that some German officers were considering the possibility of arranging for the surrender of German troops that are opposed to Field Marshal Alexander’s British-American Armies in Italy.
Upon the receipt of this information in Washington, Field Marshal Alexander was authorized to send to Switzerland an officer or officers of his staff to ascertain the accuracy of the report and if it appeared to be of sufficient promise to arrange with any competent German officers for a conference to discuss details of the surrender with Field Marshal Alexander at his headquarters in Italy. If such a meeting could be arranged Soviet representatives would, of course, be welcome.
Information concerning this investigation to be made in Switzerland was immediately communicated to the Soviet Government. Your Government was later informed that it will be agreeable for Soviet officers to be present at Field Marshal Alexander’s meetings with German officers if and when arrangements are finally made in Berne for such a meeting at Caserta to discuss details of a surrender.
Up to the present time the attempts by our representatives to arrange a meeting with German officers have met with no success, but it still appears that such a meeting is a possibility.
My Government, as you will of course understand, must give every assistance to all officers in the field in command of Allied forces who believe there is a possibility of forcing the surrender of enemy troops in their area. For me to take any other attitude or to permit any delay which must cause additional and avoidable loss of life in the American forces would be completely unreasonable. As a military man you will understand the necessity for prompt action to avoid losing an opportunity. The sending of a flag of truce to your General at Königsberg or Danzig would be in the same category.
There can be in such a surrender of enemy forces in the field no violation of our agreed principle of unconditional surrender and no political implications whatever.
I will be pleased to have at any discussion of the details of surrender by our commander of American forces in the field the benefit of the experience and advice of any of your officers who can be present, but I cannot agree to suspend investigation of the possibility because of objection by Mr Molotov for some reason completely beyond my comprehension.
Not much is expected from the reported possibility, but for the purpose of preventing misunderstanding between our officers, I hope you will point out to the Soviet officials concerned the desirability and necessity of our taking prompt and effective action without any delay to effect the surrender of any enemy military forces that are opposed to American forces in the field.
I feel certain that you will have the same attitude and will take the same action when a similar opportunity comes on the Soviet front.
We highly value and attach great importance to the San Francisco86 Conference to lay the foundations of an international organisation for peace and security of the nations, but present circumstances preclude V. M. Molotov’s attendance.
I and Molotov are very sorry about this, but the convening, at the instance of Deputies to the Supreme Soviet, of a session of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. in April, at which Molotov’s attendance is imperative, makes it impossible for him to attend even the opening session of the Conference.
You are aware that Ambassador Gromyko successfully coped with his task at Dumbarton Oaks,88 and we are certain that he will ably head the Soviet Delegation at San Francisco.
As to the different interpretations, you will appreciate that they cannot determine the decisions to be taken.
March 27, 1945
I have analysed the matter raised in your letter of March 25, and find that the Soviet Government could not have given any other reply after its representatives were barred from the Berne negotiations with the Germans for a German surrender and opening the front to the Anglo-American troops in Northern Italy.
Far from being against, I am all for profiting from cases of disintegration in the German armies to hasten their surrender on one or another sector and encourage them to open the front to Allied forces.
But I agree to such talks with the enemy only in cases where they do not lead to an easing of the enemy’s position, if the opportunity for the Germans to manoeuvre and to use the talks for switching troops to other sectors, above all to the Soviet front, is precluded.
And it was solely with an eye to providing this guarantee that the Soviet Government found it necessary to have representatives of its Military Command take part in such negotiations with the enemy wherever they might take place – whether in Berne or in Caserta. I cannot understand why the representatives of the Soviet Command have been excluded from the talks and in what way they could have handicapped the representatives of the Allied Command.
I must tell you for your information that the Germans have already taken advantage of the talks with the Allied Command to move three divisions from Northern Italy to the Soviet front.
The task of coordinated operations involving a blow at the Germans from the West, South and East, proclaimed at the Crimea Conference, is to hold the enemy on the spot and prevent him from manoeuvring, from moving his forces to the points where he needs them most. The Soviet Command is doing this. But Field Marshal Alexander is not. This circumstance irritates the Soviet Command and engenders distrust.
“As a military man,” you write to me, “you will understand the necessity for prompt action to avoid losing an opportunity. The sending of a flag of truce to your General at Königsberg or Danzig would be in the same category.” I am afraid the analogy does not fit the case. The German troops at Danzig and at Königsberg are encircled. If they surrender they will do so to escape extermination, but they cannot open the front to Soviet troops because the front has shifted as far west as the Oder. The German troops in Northern Italy are in an entirely different position. They are not encircled and are not faced with extermination. If, nevertheless, the Germans in Northern Italy seek negotiations in order to surrender and to open the front to the Allied troops, then they must have some other, more far-reaching aims affecting the destiny of Germany.
I must tell you that if a similar situation had obtained on the Eastern Front, somewhere on the Oder, providing an opportunity for a German surrender and for the opening of the front to the Soviet troops, I should have immediately notified the Anglo-American Military Command and asked it to send its representatives to take part in the talks, for in a situation of this kind Allies should have nothing to conceal from each other.
March 29, 1945
Received on April 1, 1945
I cannot conceal from you the concern with which I view the developments of events of mutual interest since our fruitful meeting at Yalta. The decisions we reached there were good ones and have for the most part been welcomed with enthusiasm by the peoples of the world who saw in our ability to find a common basis of understanding the best pledge for a secure and peaceful world after this war. Precisely because of the hopes and expectations that these decisions raised, their fulfillment is being followed with the closest attention. We have no right to let them be disappointed. So far there has been a discouraging lack of progress made in the carrying out, which the world expects, of the political decisions which we reached at the conference particularly those relating to the Polish question. I am frankly puzzled as to why this should be and must tell you that I do not fully understand in many respects the apparent indifferent attitude of your Government. Having understood each other so well at Yalta I am convinced that the three of us can and will clear away any obstacles which have developed since then. I intend, therefore, in this message to lay before you with complete frankness the problem as I see it.
Although I have in mind primarily the difficulties which the Polish negotiations have encountered, I must make a brief mention of our agreement embodied in the Declaration on Liberated Europe.89 I frankly cannot understand why the recent developments in Roumania90 should be regarded as not falling within the terms of that Agreement. I hope you will find time personally to examine the correspondence between our Governments on this subject.
However, the part of our agreements at Yalta which has aroused the greatest popular interest and is the most urgent relates to the Polish question. You are aware of course that the Commission91 which we set up has made no progress. I feel this is due to the interpretation which your Government is placing upon the Crimea decisions. In order that there shall be no misunderstanding I set forth below my interpretations of the points of the Agreement which are pertinent to the difficulties encountered by the Commission in Moscow.
In the discussions that have taken place so far your Government appears to take the position that the new Polish Provisional Government of National Unity which we agreed should be formed should be little more than a continuation of the present Warsaw Government. I cannot reconcile this either with our agreement or our discussions. While it is true that the Lublin Government83 is to be reorganized and its members play a prominent role, it is to be done in such a fashion as to bring into being a new government. This point is clearly brought out in several places in the text of the Agreement. I must make it quite plain to you that any such solution which would result in a thinly disguised continuance of the present Warsaw régime would be unacceptable and would cause the people of the United States to regard the Yalta agreement as having failed.
It is equally apparent that for the same reason the Warsaw Government cannot under the Agreement claim the right to select or reject what Poles are to be brought to Moscow by the Commission for consultation. Can we not agree that it is up to the Commission to select the Polish leaders to come to Moscow to consult in the first instance and invitations be sent out accordingly. If this could be done I see no great objection to having the Lublin group come first in order that they may be fully acquainted with the agreed interpretation of the Yalta decisions on this point. It is of course understood that if the Lublin group come first no arrangements would be made independently with them before the arrival of the other Polish leaders called for consultation. In order to facilitate the agreement the Commission might first of all select a small but representative group of Polish leaders who could suggest other names for the consideration of the Commission. We have not and would not bar or veto any candidate for consultation which Mr Molotov might propose, being confident that he would not suggest any Poles who would be inimical to the intent of the Crimea decision. I feel that it is not too much to ask that my Ambassador be accorded the same confidence and that any candidate for consultation presented by any one of the Commission be accepted by the others in good faith. It is obvious to me that if the right of the Commission to select these Poles is limited or shared with the Warsaw Government the very foundation on which our agreement rests would be destroyed.
While the foregoing are the immediate obstacles which in my opinion have prevented our Commission from making any progress in this vital matter, there are two other suggestions which were not in the agreement but nevertheless have a very important bearing on the result we all seek. Neither of these suggestions has been as yet accepted by your Government.
I refer to:
(1) That there should be the maximum of political tranquility in Poland and that dissident groups should cease any measures and counter-measures against each other. That we should respectively use our influence to that end seems to me eminently reasonable.
(2) It would also seem entirely natural in view of the responsibilities placed upon them by the Agreement that representatives of the American and British members of the Commission should be permitted to visit Poland. As you will recall Mr Molotov himself suggested this at an early meeting of the Commission and only subsequently withdrew it.
I wish I could convey to you how important it is for the successful
development of our program of international collaboration that this
Polish question be settled fairly and speedily. If this is not done all
of the difficulties and dangers to Allied unity which we had so much in
mind in reaching our decisions at the Crimea will face us in an even
more acute form. You are, I am sure, aware that the genuine popular
support in the United States is required to carry out any government
policy, foreign or domestic. The American people make up their own mind
and no government action can change it. I mention this fact because the
last sentence of your message about Mr. Molotov’s attendance at San
me wonder whether you give full weight to this factor.
|The leaders of the three powers at the Tehran Conference|
|The Crimea Conference, Plenary Session|
Received on April 1, 1945
In the exchange of messages we have had on possible future negotiations with the Germans for surrender of their forces in Italy, it seems to me that, although both of us are in agreement on all the basic principles, the matter now stands in an atmosphere of regrettable apprehension and mistrust.
No negotiations-for surrender have been entered into, and if there should be any negotiations they will be conducted at Caserta with your representatives present throughout. Although the attempt at Berne to arrange for the conduct of these negotiations has been fruitless, Marshal Alexander has been directed to keep you informed of his progress in this matter.
I must repeat that the meeting in Berne was for the single purpose of arranging contact with competent German military officers and not for negotiations of any kind.
There is no question of negotiating with the Germans in any way which would permit them to transfer elsewhere forces from the Italian front. Negotiations, if any are conducted, will be on the basis of unconditional surrender. With regard to the lack of Allied offensive operations in Italy, this condition has in no way resulted from any expectation of an agreement with the Germans. As a matter of fact, recent interruption of offensive operations in Italy has been due primarily to the recent transfer of Allied forces, British and Canadian divisions, from that front to France. Preparations are now made for an offensive on the Italian front about April 10, but while we hope for success, the operation will be of limited power due to the lack of forces now available to Alexander. He has seventeen dependable divisions and is opposed by twenty-four German divisions. We intend to do everything within the capacity of our available resources to prevent any withdrawal of the German forces now in Italy.
I feel that your information about the time of the movements of German troops from Italy is in error. Our best information is that three German divisions have left Italy since the first of the year, two of which have gone to the Eastern Front. The last division of the three started moving about February 25, more than two weeks before anybody heard of any possibility of a surrender. It is therefore clearly evident that the approach made of German agents in Berne occurred after the last movement of troops began and could not possibly have had any effect on the movement.
This entire episode has arisen through the initiative of a German officer reputed to be close to Himmler and there is, of course, a strong possibility that his sole purpose is to create suspicion and distrust between the Allies. There is no reason why we should permit him to succeed in that aim. I trust that the above categorical statement of the present situation and of my intentions will allay the apprehension which you express in your message of March 29.
I am in receipt of your message on the Berne talks.
You are quite right in saying, with reference to the talks between the Anglo-American and German Commands in Berne or elsewhere, that “the matter now stands in an atmosphere of regrettable apprehension and mistrust.”
You affirm that so far no negotiations have been entered into. Apparently you are not fully informed. As regards my military colleagues, they, on the basis of information in their possession, are sure that negotiations did take place and that they ended in an agreement with the Germans, whereby the German Commander on the Western Front, Marshal Kesselring, is to open the front to the Anglo-American troops and let them move east, while the British and Americans have promised, in exchange, to ease the armistice terms for the Germans.
I think that my colleagues are not very far from the truth. If the contrary were the case the exclusion of representatives of the Soviet Command from the Berne talks would be inexplicable.
Nor can I account for the reticence of the British, who have left it to you to carry on a correspondence with me on this unpleasant matter, while they themselves maintain silence, although it is known that the initiative in the matter of the Berne negotiations belongs to the British.
I realise that there are certain advantages resulting to the Anglo-American troops from these separate negotiations in Berne or in some other place, seeing that the Anglo-American troops are enabled to advance into the heart of Germany almost without resistance; but why conceal this from the Russians, and why were the Russians, their Allies, not forewarned?
And so what we have at the moment is that the Germans on the Western Front have in fact ceased the war against Britain and America. At the same time they continue the war against Russia, the Ally of Britain and the U.S.A.
Clearly this situation cannot help preserve and promote trust between our countries.
I have already written in a previous message, and I think I must repeat, that I and my colleagues would never in any circumstances have taken such a hazardous step, for we realise that a momentary advantage, no matter how great, is overshadowed by the fundamental advantage of preserving and promoting trust between Allies.
April 3, 1945
Received on April 5, 1945
I have received with astonishment your message of April 3 containing an allegation that arrangements which were made between Field Marshals Alexander and Kesselring at Berne “permitted the Anglo-American troops to advance to the East and the Anglo-Americans promised in return to ease for the Germans the peace terms.”
In my previous messages to you in regard to the attempts made in Berne to arrange a conference to discuss a surrender of the German army in Italy I have told you that: (1) No negotiations were held in Berne, (2) The meeting had no political implications whatever, (3) In any surrender of the enemy army in Italy there would be no violation of our agreed principle of unconditional surrender, (4) Soviet officers would be welcomed at any meeting that might be arranged to discuss surrender.
For the advantage of our common war effort against Germany, which today gives excellent promise of an early success in a disintegration of the German armies, I must continue to assume that you have the same high confidence in my truthfulness and reliability that I have always had in yours.
I have also a full appreciation of the effect your gallant army has had in making possible a crossing of the Rhine by the forces under General Eisenhower and the effect that your forces will have hereafter on the eventual collapse of the German resistance to our combined attacks.
I have complete confidence in General Eisenhower and know that he certainly would inform me before entering into any agreement with the Germans. He is instructed to demand and will demand unconditional surrender of enemy troops that may be defeated on his front. Our advances on the Western Front are due to military action. Their speed has been attributable mainly to the terrific impact of our air power resulting in destruction of German communications, and to the fact that Eisenhower was able to cripple the bulk of the German forces on the Western Front while they were still west of the Rhine.
I am certain that there were no negotiations in Berne at any time and I feel that your information to that effect must have come from German sources which have made persistent efforts to create dissension between us in order to escape in some measure responsibility for their war crimes. If that was Wolff’s purpose in Berne, your message proves that he has had some success.
With a confidence in your belief in my personal reliability and in my determination to bring about, together with you, an unconditional surrender of the Nazis, it is astonishing that a belief seems to have reached the Soviet Government that I have entered into an agreement with the enemy without first obtaining your full agreement.
Finally I would say this, it would be one of the great tragedies of history if at the very moment of the victory, now within our grasp, such distrust, such lack of faith should prejudice the entire undertaking after the colossal losses of life, material and treasure involved.
Frankly I cannot avoid a feeling of bitter resentment toward your informers, whoever they are, for such vile misrepresentations of my actions or those of my trusted subordinates.
I have received your message of April 5.
In my message of April 3 the point was not about integrity or trustworthiness. I have never doubted your integrity or trustworthiness, just as I have never questioned the integrity or trustworthiness of Mr Churchill. My point is that in the course of our correspondence a difference of views has arisen over what an Ally may permit himself with regard to another and what he may not. We Russians believe that, in view of the present situation on the fronts, a situation in which the enemy is faced with inevitable surrender, whenever the representatives of one of the Allies meet the Germans to discuss surrender terms, the representatives of the other Ally should be enabled to take part in the meeting. That is absolutely necessary, at least when the other Ally seeks participation in the meeting. The Americans and British, however, have a different opinion – they hold that the Russian point of view is wrong. For that reason they have denied the Russians the right to be present at the meeting with the Germans in Switzerland. I have already written to you, and I see no harm in repeating that, given a similar situation, the Russians would never have denied the Americans and British the right to attend such a meeting. I still consider the Russian point of view to be the only correct one, because it precludes mutual suspicions and gives the enemy no chance to sow distrust between us.
2. It is hard to agree that the absence of German resistance on the Western Front is due solely to the fact that they have been beaten. The Germans have 147 divisions on the Eastern Front. They could safely withdraw from 15 to 20 divisions from the Eastern Front to aid their forces on the Western Front. Yet they have not done so, nor are they doing so. They are fighting desperately against the Russians for Zemlenice, an obscure station in Czechoslovakia, which they need just as much as a dead man needs a poultice, but they surrender without any resistance such important towns in the heart of Germany as Osnabrück, Mannheim and Kassel. You will admit that this behaviour on the part of the Germans is more than strange and unaccountable.
3. As regards those who supply my information, I can assure you that they are honest and unassuming people who carry out their duties conscientiously and who have no intention of affronting anybody. They have been tested in action on numerous occasions. Judge for yourself. In February General Marshall made available to the General Staff of the Soviet troops a number of important reports in which he, citing data in his possession, warned the Russians that in March the Germans were planning two serious counter-blows on the Eastern Front, one from Pomerania towards Thorn, the other from the Moravská Ostrava area towards Lódź. It turned out, however, that the main German blow had been prepared, and delivered, not in the areas mentioned above, but in an entirely different area, namely, in the Lake Balaton area, southwest of Budapest. The Germans, as we now know, had concentrated 35 divisions in the area, 11 of them armoured. This, with its great concentration of armour, was one of the heaviest blows of the war. Marshal Tolbukhin succeeded first in warding off disaster and then in smashing the Germans, and was able to do so also because my informants had disclosed – true, with some delay – the plan for the main German blow and immediately apprised Marshal Tolbukhin. Thus I had yet another opportunity to satisfy myself as to the reliability and soundness of my sources of information.
For your guidance in this matter I enclose a letter sent by Army General Antonov, Chief of Staff of the Red Army, to Major-General Deane.
April 7, 1945
Dear General Deane,
Please convey to General Marshall the following:
On February 20 I received a message from General Marshall through General Deane, saying that the Germans were forming two groups for a counter-offensive on the Eastern Front: one in Pomerania to strike in the direction of Thorn and the other in the Vienna-Moravská Ostrava area to advance in the direction of Lódź. The southern group was to include the 6th S.S. Panzer Army. On February 12 I received similar information from Colonel Brinkman, head of the Army Section of the British Military Mission.
I am very much obliged and grateful to General Marshall for the information, designed to further our common aims, which he so kindly made available to us.
At the same time it is my duty to inform General Marshall that the military operations on the Eastern Front in March did not bear out the information furnished by him. For the battles showed that the main group of German troops, which included the 6th S.S. Panzer Army, had been concentrated, not in Pomerania or in the Moravská Ostrava area, but in the Lake Balaton area, whence the Germans launched their offensive in an attempt to break through to the Danube and force it south of Budapest.
Thus, the information supplied by General Marshall was at variance with the actual course of events on the Eastern Front in March.
It may well be that certain sources of this information wanted to bluff both Anglo-American and Soviet Headquarters and divert the attention of the Soviet High Command from the area where the Germans were mounting their main offensive operation on the Eastern Front.
Despite the foregoing, I would ask General Marshall, if possible, to keep me posted with information about the enemy.
I consider it my duty to convey this information to General Marshall solely for the purpose of enabling him to draw the proper conclusions in relation to the source of the information.
Please convey to General Marshall my respect and gratitude.
March 30, 1945
With reference to your message of April 1st I think I must make the following comments on the Polish question.
The Polish question has indeed reached an impasse.
What is the reason?
The reason is that the U.S. and British Ambassadors in Moscow – members of the Moscow Commission91 – have departed from the instructions of the Crimea Conference, introducing new elements not provided for by the Crimea Conference.
(a) At the Crimea Conference the three of us regarded the Polish Provisional Government as the government now functioning in Poland and subject to reconstruction, as the government that should be the core of a new Government of National Unity. The U.S. and British Ambassadors in Moscow, however, have departed from that thesis; they ignore the Polish Provisional Government, pay no heed to it and at best place individuals in Poland and London on a par with the Provisional Government. Furthermore, they hold that reconstruction of the Provisional Government should be understood in terms of its abolition and the establishment of an entirely new government. Things have gone so far that Mr Harriman declared in the Moscow Commission that it might be that not a single member of the Provisional Government would be included in the Polish Government of National Unity.
Obviously this thesis of the U.S. and British Ambassadors cannot but be strongly resented by the Polish Provisional Government. As regards the Soviet Union, it certainly cannot accept a thesis that is tantamount to direct violation of the Crimea Conference decisions.
(b) At the Crimea Conference the three of us held that five people should be invited for consultation from Poland and three from London, not more. But the U.S. and British Ambassadors have abandoned that position and insist that each member of the Moscow Commission be entitled to invite an unlimited number from Poland and from London.
Clearly the Soviet Government could not agree to that, because, according to the Crimea decision, invitations should be sent not by individual members of the Commission, but by the Commission as a whole, as a body. The demand for no limit to the number invited for consultation runs counter to what was envisaged at the Crimea Conference.
(c) The Soviet Government proceeds from the assumption that, by virtue of the Crimea decisions, those invited for consultation should be in the first instance Polish leaders who recognise the decisions of the Crimea Conference, including the one on the Curzon Line,57 and, secondly, who actually want friendly relations between Poland and the Soviet Union. The Soviet Government insists on this because the blood of Soviet soldiers, so freely shed in liberating Poland, and the fact that in the past 30 years the territory of Poland has twice been used by an enemy for invading Russia, oblige the Soviet Government to ensure friendly relations between the Soviet Union and Poland.
The U.S. and British Ambassadors in Moscow, however, ignore this and want to invite Polish leaders for consultation regardless of their attitude to the Crimea decisions and to the Soviet Union.
Such, to my mind, are the factors hindering a settlement of the Polish problem through mutual agreement.
In order to break the deadlock and reach an agreed decision, the following steps should, I think, be taken:
(1) Affirm that reconstruction of the Polish Provisional Government implies, not its abolition, but its reconstruction by enlarging it, it being understood that the Provisional Government shall form the core of the future Polish Government of National Unity.
(2) Return to the provisions of the Crimea Conference and restrict the number of Polish leaders to be invited to eight persons, of whom five should be from Poland and three from London.
(3) Affirm that the representatives of the Polish Provisional Government shall be consulted in all circumstances, that they be consulted in the first place, since the Provisional Government is much stronger in Poland compared with the individuals to be invited from London and Poland whose influence among the population in no way compares with the tremendous prestige of the Provisional Government.
I draw your attention to this because, to my mind, any other decision on the point might be regarded in Poland as an affront to the people and as an attempt to impose a government without regard to Polish public opinion.
(4) Only those leaders should be summoned for consultation from Poland and from London who recognise the decisions of the Crimea Conference on Poland and who in practice want friendly relations between Poland and the Soviet Union.
(5) Reconstruction of the Provisional Government to be effected by replacing a number of Ministers of the Provisional Government by nominees among the Polish leaders who are not members of the Provisional Government.
As to the ratio of old and new Ministers in the Government of National Unity, it might be established more or less on the same lines as was done in the case of the Yugoslav Government.
I think if these comments are taken into consideration the Polish question can be settled in a short time.
April 7, 1945
Received on April 13, 1945
Thank you for your frank explanation of the Soviet point of view on the Berne incident which it now appears has faded into the past without having accomplished any useful purpose.
In any event, there must not be mutual distrust, and minor misunderstandings of this character should not arise in the future. I feel sure that when our armies make contact in Germany and join in a fully coordinated offensive the Nazi armies will disintegrate.
Sent on April 13, 1945
On behalf of the Soviet Government and on my own behalf I express to the Government of the United States of America deep regret at the untimely death of President Roosevelt. The American people and the United Nations14 have lost in the person of Franklin Roosevelt a great statesman of world stature and champion of post-war peace and security.
The Government of the Soviet Union expresses its heartfelt sympathy
with the American people in their grievous loss and its confidence that
the policy of cooperation between the Great Powers who have borne the
brunt of the war against the common foe will be promoted in the future
Received on April 18, 1945
I appreciate your kind and true statement of the contribution which the late President Franklin Roosevelt made to the cause of civilization and your assurances with respect to the efforts which we will make in common in this same cause.
Received on April 18, 1945
We are sending this joint reply to your messages of April 7 in regard to the Polish negotiations for the sake of greater clarity and in order that there will be no misunderstanding as to our position on this matter. The British and the United States Governments have tried most earnestly to be constructive and fair in their approach and will continue to do so. Before putting before you the concrete and constructive suggestion which is the purpose of this message we feel it necessary, however, to correct the completely erroneous impression which you have apparently received in regard to the position of the British and United States Governments as set forth by our Ambassadors under direct instructions during the negotiations.
It is most surprising to have you state that the present government functioning in Warsaw has been in any way ignored during these negotiations. Such has never been our intention nor our position. You must be cognizant of the fact that our Ambassadors in Moscow have agreed without question that the three leaders of the Warsaw Government should be included in the list of Poles to be invited to come to Moscow for consultation with the Polish Commission.91 We have never denied that among the three elements from which the new Provisional Government of National Unity is to be formed the representatives of the present Warsaw Government will play unquestionably a prominent part. Nor can it be said with any justification that our Ambassadors are demanding the right to invite an unlimited number of Poles. The right to put forward and have accepted by the Commission individual representative Poles from abroad and from within Poland to be invited to Moscow for consultation cannot be interpreted in that sense. Indeed in his message of April 1 President Roosevelt specifically said: “In order to facilitate the agreement the Commission might first of all select a small but representative group of Polish leaders who could suggest other names for consideration by the Commission.” The real issue between us is whether or not the Warsaw Government has the right to veto individual candidates for consultation. No such interpretation in our considered opinion can be found in the Crimea decision. It appears to us that you are reverting to the original position taken by the Soviet delegation at the Crimea which was subsequently modified in the agreement. Let us keep clearly in mind that we are now speaking only of the group of Poles who are to be invited to Moscow for consultation.
You mention the desirability of inviting eight Poles – five from within Poland and three from London – to take part in these first consultations and in your message to the Prime Minister you indicate that Mikolajczyk would be acceptable if he issued a statement in support of the Crimea decision. We, therefore, submit the following proposals for your consideration in order to prevent a breakdown, with all its incalculable consequences, of our endeavors to settle the Polish question. We hope that you will give them your most careful and earnest consideration.
1. That we instruct our representatives on the Commission to extend invitations immediately to the following Polish leaders to come to Moscow for consultation: Bierut, Osubka Morawski, Rola-Zymierski, Bishop Sapieha; one representative Polish political party leader not connected with the present Warsaw Government (if any of the following were agreeable to you he would be agreeable to us: Witos, Zulawski, Chacinski, Jasiukowicz), and from London Mikolajczyk, Grabski and Stanczyk.
2. That once the invitations to come for consultation have been issued by the Commission the representatives of the Warsaw Government could arrive first if desired.
3. That it be agreed that these Polish leaders called for consultation could suggest to the Commission the names of a certain number of other Polish leaders from within Poland or abroad who might be brought in for consultation in order that all the major Polish groups be represented in the discussions.
4. We do not feel that we could commit ourselves to any formula for determining the composition of the new Government of National Unity in advance of consultation with the Polish leaders and we do not in any case consider the Yugoslav precedent92 to be applicable to Poland.
We ask you to read again carefully the American and British messages of
April 1 since they set forth the larger considerations which we still
have very much in mind and to which we must adhere.
Received on April 20, 1945
My countrymen join with me in sincerely thanking you for your message
of sympathy which is a source of great comfort in our loss. It is my
conviction that President Roosevelt’s sacrifice for the cause of
freedom will serve to strengthen the determination of all peoples that
the goal, for which he so faithfully strove, shall not have been in
Harry S. Truman
Received on April 21, 1945
With respect to the arrangements for the announcement of the meeting of our armies in Germany, I will see that instructions are given to General Eisenhower to inform the Soviet, British and United States Governments as soon as possible of the day on which the linking up of the Soviet-Anglo-American armies in Germany may be announced by the three Chiefs of Government.
In order that the announcement may be made simultaneously in all three capitals, I wish to propose that the hour of the day recommended by Eisenhower be twelve o’clock noon Washington Time, and would be glad to have your agreement to this proposal.
An identical message is being sent to Churchill.
Your message about announcing the link-up of our armies in Germany reached me on April 21.
I have nothing against your proposal for accepting the hour for the announcement suggested by Gen. Eisenhower, that is, twelve o’clock noon Washington Time.
I am sending a similar message to Mr Churchill.
April 23, 1945
There was an agreement at Yalta in which President Roosevelt participated for the United States Government to reorganize the Provisional Government now functioning in Warsaw in order to establish a new Government of National Unity in Poland by means of previous consultation between representatives of the Provisional Polish Government of Warsaw and other Polish democratic leaders from Poland and from abroad.
In the opinion of the United States Government the Crimean decision on Poland can only be carried out if a group of genuinely representative democratic Polish leaders are invited to Moscow for consultation. The United States Government cannot be party to any method of consultation with Polish leaders which would not result in the establishment of a new Provisional Government of National Unity genuinely representative of the democratic elements of the Polish people. The United States and British Governments have gone as far as they can to meet the situation and carry out the intent of the Crimean decisions in their joint message delivered to Marshal Stalin on April 18th.
The United States Government earnestly requests that the Soviet Government accept the proposals set forth in the joint message of the President and Prime Minister to Marshal Stalin. And that Mr Molotov continue the conversations with the Secretary of State and Mr Eden in San Francisco on that basis.
The Soviet Government must realize that the failure to go forward at
this time with the implementation of the Crimean decision on Poland
would seriously shake confidence in the unity of the three Governments
and their determination to continue the collaboration in the future as
they have in the past.
Harry S. Truman
April 23, 194593
I have received from you and Prime Minister Churchill the joint message of April 18 and the message transmitted to me through V. M. Molotov on April 24.
The messages indicate that you still regard the Polish Provisional Government, not as the core of a future Polish Government of National Unity, but merely as a group on a par with any other group of Poles. It would be hard to reconcile this concept of the position of the Provisional Government and this attitude towards it with the Crimea decision on Poland. At the Crimea Conference the three of us, including President Roosevelt, based ourselves on the assumption that the Polish Provisional Government, as the Government now functioning in Poland and enjoying the trust and support of the majority of the Polish people, should be the core, that is, the main part of a new, reconstructed Polish Government of National Unity.
You apparently disagree with this understanding of the issue. By turning down the Yugoslav example92 as a model for Poland, you confirm that the Polish Provisional Government cannot be regarded as a basis for, and the core of, a future Government of National Unity.
2. Another circumstance that should be borne in mind is that Poland borders on the Soviet Union, which cannot be said about Great Britain or the U.S.A.
Poland is to the security of the Soviet Union what Belgium and Greece are to the security of Great Britain.
You evidently do not agree that the Soviet Union is entitled to seek in Poland a Government that would be friendly to it, that the Soviet Government cannot agree to the existence in Poland of a Government hostile to it. This is rendered imperative, among other things, by the Soviet people’s blood freely shed on the fields of Poland for the liberation of that country. I do not know whether a genuinely representative Government has been established in Greece, or whether the Belgian Government is a genuinely democratic one. The Soviet Union was not consulted when those Governments were being formed, nor did it claim the right to interfere in those matters, because it realises how important Belgium and Greece are to the security of Great Britain.
I cannot understand why in discussing Poland no attempt is made to consider the interests of the Soviet Union in terms of security as well.
3. One cannot but recognise as unusual a situation in which two Governments – those of the United States and Great Britain – reach agreement beforehand on Poland, a country in which the U.S.S.R. is interested first of all and most of all, and place its representatives in an intolerable position, trying to dictate to it.
I say that this situation cannot contribute to agreed settlement of the Polish problem.
4. I am ready to accede to your request and to do all in my power to reach an agreed settlement. But you are asking too much. To put it plainly, you want me to renounce the interests of the security of the Soviet Union; but I cannot proceed against the interests of my country.
I think there is only one way out of the present situation and that is to accept the Yugoslav precedent as a model for Poland. That, I believe, might enable us to arrive at agreed settlement.
April 24, 1945
|The Potsdam Conference in session|
|The house where the Potsdam Conference was held|
Received on April 25, 1945
I wish to acknowledge with thanks the receipt of your message of April 23.
The text of the announcement which I propose to release at the date and time to be indicated by General Eisenhower is as follows:
“The Anglo-American Armies under the command of General Eisenhower have met the Soviet Forces where they intended to meet – in the heart of Nazi Germany. The enemy has been cut in two. This is not the hour of final victory in Europe, but the hour draws near, the hour for which all the American people, all the British peoples and all the Soviet people have toiled and prayed so long. The union of our arms in the heart of Germany has a meaning for the world which the world will not miss. It means, first, that the last faint, desperate hope of Hitler and his gangster government has been extinguished. The common front and the common cause of the Powers allied in this war against tyranny and inhumanity have been demonstrated in fact as they have long been demonstrated in determination. Nothing can divide or weaken the common purpose of our veteran armies to pursue their victorious purpose to its final Allied triumph in Germany. Second, the junction of our forces at this moment signalizes to ourselves and to the world that the collaboration of our nations in the cause of peace and freedom is an effective collaboration which can surmount the greatest difficulties of the most extensive campaign in military history and succeed. Nations which can plan and fight together, shoulder to shoulder, in the face of such obstacles of distance and of language and of communications as we have overcome, can live together and can work together in the common labor of the organization of the world for peace. Finally, this great triumph of Allied arms and Allied strategy is such a tribute to the courage and determination of Franklin Roosevelt as no words could ever speak, and that could be accomplished only by the persistence and the courage of the fighting soldiers and sailors of the Allied Nations. But, until our enemies are finally subdued in Europe and in the Pacific, there must be no relaxation of effort on the home front in support of our heroic soldiers and sailors as we all know there will be no pause on the battle fronts.”
Received on April 26, 1945
The United States Minister to Sweden has informed me that Himmler, speaking in the name of the German Government in the absence of Hitler who is said to be incapacitated, has approached the Swedish Government with an offer to surrender all the German forces on the Western Front, including Norway, Denmark and Holland.
2. In keeping with our agreement with the British and Soviet Governments it is the view of the United States Government that the only acceptable terms of surrender are unconditional surrender on all fronts to the Soviet Union, Great Britain, and the United States.
3. If the Germans accept the terms of paragraph 2 above they should surrender on all fronts at once to the local commanders in the field.
4. If you are in agreement with paragraphs 2 and 3 above I will direct my Minister in Sweden to so inform Himmler’s agent.
An identical message is being sent to Prime Minister Churchill.
Your message of April 26 received. Thank you for informing me of Himmler’s intention to surrender on the Western Front.
I think that your contemplated reply to Himmler, which calls for unconditional surrender on all fronts, including the Soviet front, is absolutely sound. Please act in the spirit of your proposal, and as for us Russians, we undertake to continue our attacks upon the Germans.
For your information I have sent a similar reply to Prime Minister Churchill who had made the same inquiry.
April 26, 1945
Received on April 27, 1945
I have sent the following message today to Mr Johnson at Stockholm:
“With reference to your message of April 25, 3 a.m. inform Hitler’s agent that the only acceptable terms of surrender by Germany are unconditional surrender to the Soviet Government, Great Britain and the United States, on all fronts.
“If the terms of surrender set forth above are accepted, the German forces should surrender at once on all fronts to the local commander in the field.
“In all theaters where resistance is continued the Allied attack will
be vigorously prosecuted until complete victory is achieved.”
Your message concerning the instructions you have given to Mr Johnson reached me on April 27. Thank you for the news.
The decision to seek unconditional surrender of the German armed forces, adopted by you and Mr Churchill, is to my mind the right reply to the German proposals.
April 28, 1945
Received on April 28, 1945
I have received from Prime Minister Churchill a message dated April 27, addressed to you and to myself, with respect to an orderly procedure for the occupation by our forces of the zones which they will occupy in Germany and Austria.
I am in full agreement with the message referred to above, addressed to both of us by Prime Minister Churchill, and I will inform the Prime Minister likewise of my agreement thereto.
Received on April 30, 1945
The following is the text of a message I have sent to Prime Minister Churchill:
“I suggest, with reference to Marshal Alexander’s NAF 934,94 that the announcement of the local surrender of German armies in Italy to combined Anglo-American forces be made by Alexander at a time that is in his opinion suitable and correct, and that the first announcement be not made elsewhere.
“If you agree, please instruct Alexander accordingly.”
I received on April 28 your message expressing agreement with the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill, concerning the procedure of the occupation of Germany and Austria.95
The Soviet Supreme Command has given instructions that whenever Soviet troops contact Allied troops the Soviet Command is immediately to get in touch with the Command of the U.S. or British troops, so that they, by agreement between themselves, (1) establish a temporary tactical demarcation line and (2) take steps to crush within the bounds of their temporary demarcation line all resistance by German troops.
May 2, 1945
Thank you for communicating to me the text of your message to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill, concerning the German surrender in Italy. I have nothing against Field Marshal Alexander publishing the announcement of the surrender as proposed by you.
May 2, 1945
Sent on May 4, 1945
In view of your interest in the Polish question and because you are bound to be familiar with Mr Churchill’s message to me on the subject, dated April 28, I think it proper to send you the full text of my reply to Mr Churchill, despatched on May 4.
I am in receipt of your message of April 28 on the Polish question.
I must say that I cannot accept the arguments put forward in support of your stand.
You are inclined to regard the proposal that the Yugoslav precedent92 be accepted as a model for Poland as renunciation of the procedure agreed between us for setting up a Polish Government of National Unity. I cannot agree with you. I think that the Yugoslav precedent is important first of all because it points the way to the most suitable and practical solution of the problem of forming a new United Government based on the governmental agency at present exercising state power in the country.
It is quite obvious that, unless the Provisional Government now functioning in Poland and enjoying the support and trust of a majority of the Polish people is taken as a basis for a future Government of National Unity, it will be impossible to count on successful fulfilment of the task set us by the Crimea Conference.
2. I cannot subscribe to that part of your considerations on Greece where you suggest three-Power control over the elections. Such control over the people of an allied country would of necessity be assessed as an affront and gross interference in their internal affairs. Such control is out of place in relation to former satellite countries which subsequently declared war on Germany and ranged themselves with the Allies, as demonstrated by electoral experience, for example, in Finland, where the election was held without outside interference and yielded positive results.
Your comments on Belgium and Poland as war theatres and communication corridors are perfectly justified. As regards Poland, it is her being a neighbour of the Soviet Union that makes it essential for a future Polish Government to seek in practice friendly relations between Poland and the U.S.S.R., which is also in the interests of the other freedom-loving nations. This circumstance, too, speaks for the Yugoslav precedent. The United Nations are interested in constant and durable friendship between the U.S.S.R. and Poland. Hence we cannot acquiesce in the attempts that are being made to involve in the forming of a future Polish Government people who, to quote you, “are not fundamentally anti-Russian,” or to bar from participation only those who, in your view, are “extreme people unfriendly to Russia.” Neither one nor the other can satisfy us. We insist, and shall continue to insist, that only people who have demonstrated by deeds their friendly attitude to the Soviet Union, who are willing honestly and sincerely to cooperate with the Soviet state, should be consulted on the formation of a future Polish Government.
3. I must deal specially with paragraph 11 of your message concerning the difficulties arising from rumours about the arrest of 15 Poles, about deportations, etc.
I am able to inform you that the group of Poles mentioned by you comprises 16, not 15, persons. The group is headed by the well-known General Okulicki. The British information services maintain a deliberate silence, in view of his particular odiousness, about this Polish General, who, along with the 15 other Poles, has “disappeared.” But we have no intention of being silent about the matter. This group of 16, led by General Okulicki, has been arrested by the military authorities of the Soviet front and is undergoing investigation in Moscow. General Okulicki’s group, in the first place General Okulicki himself, is charged with preparing and carrying out subversive activities behind the lines of the Red Army, subversion which has taken a toll of over a hundred Red Army soldiers and officers; the group is also charged with keeping illegal radio-transmitters in the rear of our troops, which is prohibited by law. All, or part of them – depending on the outcome of the investigation – will be tried. That is how the Red Army is forced to protect its units and its rear lines against saboteurs and those who create disorder.
The British information services are spreading rumours about the murder or shooting of Poles in Siedlce. The report is a fabrication from beginning to end and has, apparently, been concocted by Arciszewski’s agents.
4. It appears from your message that you are unwilling to consider the Polish Provisional Government as a basis for a future Government of National Unity, or to accord it the place in that Government to which it is entitled. I must say frankly that this attitude precludes the possibility of an agreed decision on the Polish question.
May 4, 1945
Received on May 5, 1945
It has been arranged that General Eisenhower will give us sufficient advance notice of his proclamation of V.-E. Day so that we may coordinate our announcement with his proclamation.
I shall inform you immediately upon receiving his notification in order that it may be possible for us to make simultaneous announcements. Do you not agree that it is most important that the statements to be made by you and Churchill and myself should be made at the same time?
A similar message is being sent to Churchill.
Received on May 5, 1945
In reply to your message of April 24, on the Polish question, I wish to say the following.
I have received from Prime Minister Churchill a copy of his message to you of April 28. Since you are well acquainted with the position of the United States Government from the messages you have received from President Roosevelt and myself I need hardly tell you that I agree with the views set forth in Mr Churchill’s message of April 28 in regard to the reorganization of the Polish Government. This Government still considers that the Crimea decisions constitute a fair basis of settlement for the Polish question and should be carried out at this time.
The three foreign secretaries in their meetings on the Polish matter have not yet succeeded in producing a satisfactory formula. I consider it of the utmost importance that a satisfactory solution of this problem be worked out at the earliest possible moment.
I must tell you that any suggestion that the representatives of the present Warsaw Provisional Government be invited to San Francisco,96 conditionally or otherwise, is wholly unacceptable to the Government of the United States. For the United States to agree to such an invitation would mean to accept the present Warsaw Provisional Government as representative of Poland. This would be equivalent to abandoning the agreement reached in the Crimea.
Your message about announcing V.-E. Day reached me on May 5.
I agree with your proposal for the three of us – you, Mr Churchill and myself – simultaneously making an appropriate statement. Mr. Churchill suggests 3 p.m. British Double Summer Time, which corresponds to 4 p.m. Moscow Time and 9 a.m. Washington Time. I have notified Mr Churchill that this hour suits the U.S.S.R.
May 6, 1945
Received on May 7, 1945
The following refers to General Eisenhower’s telegram of today’s date concerning the timing of the announcement of surrender. Assuming that it is agreeable to you, I will announce surrender, as recommended by Eisenhower, at 9 a.m. Washington Time on Tuesday, May 8.
This is a momentous occasion for the United Nations14 and for the world.
A similar message is going forward to Prime Minister Churchill.
I am in receipt of your message of May 7 about announcing Germany’s surrender.
The Supreme Command of the Red Army is not sure that the order of the German High Command on unconditional surrender will be executed by the German armies on the Eastern Front. We fear, therefore, that if the Government of the U.S.S.R. announces today the surrender of Germany we may find ourselves in an awkward position and mislead the Soviet public. It should be borne in mind that the German resistance on the Eastern Front is not slackening but, judging by intercepted radio messages, a considerable grouping of German troops have explicitly declared their intention to continue the resistance and to disobey Dönitz’s surrender order.
For this reason the Command of the Soviet troops would like to wait until the German surrender takes effect and to postpone the Government’s announcement of the surrender till May 9, 7 p.m. Moscow Time.97
May 7, 1945
Received on May 8, 1945
Now that the Soviet-Anglo-American Forces have beaten the armies of the Fascist aggressors into unconditional surrender, I wish to express to you and through you to your heroic armies the fervent congratulations of our people and their Government. We fully appreciate the magnificent contribution made by the mighty Soviet Union to the cause of civilization and liberty.
You have demonstrated the ability of a freedom-loving and supremely courageous people to crush the evil forces of barbarism, however powerful. On this occasion of our common victory, we salute the people and armies of the Soviet Union, and their superlative leadership.
I will be pleased if you wish to transmit these sentiments to your appropriate commanders in the field.
Harry S. Truman
I thank you with all my heart for your friendly congratulations on the unconditional surrender of Hitler Germany. The peoples of the Soviet Union greatly appreciate the part played by the friendly American people in this liberation war. The joint effort of the Soviet, U.S. and British Armed Forces against the German invaders, which has culminated in the latter’s complete rout and defeat, will go down in history as a model military alliance between our peoples.
On behalf of the Soviet people and Government I beg you to convey my
warmest greetings and congratulations on the occasion of this great
victory to the American people and the gallant U.S. Armed Forces.
May 9, 1945
Your message of May 5 on the subject of Poland received.
On the previous day I sent you the text of my reply to Mr Churchill’s message of April 28 on the same subject. I hope you have received that text.
I think, therefore, that I need not return to the matter. I should merely like to add this:
I have a feeling that you are unwilling to consider the Polish Provisional Government as a basis for the future Government of National Unity and object to the Polish Provisional Government occupying in that Government the place to which it is; entitled. I am obliged to say that this attitude rules out an agreed decision on the Polish question.
May 10, 1945
Received on May 17, 1945
On April 13 you made to Ambassador Harriman the good suggestion that American and Allied representatives go to Vienna to study the Vienna zones of occupation, in order that agreements on the occupation of Austria now pending in the European Advisory Commission98 may be completed. I am unable to understand why the Soviet authorities are now refusing to permit such representatives to proceed to Vienna, contrary to your suggestion.
An examination and discussion on the spot by the military authorities who will later be responsible for the smooth operation of the inter-allied administration of Austria would greatly facilitate an intelligent arrangement of the Vienna zones. The Soviet representative in the European Advisory Commission, for example, has recently proposed that the needs of the American forces in the line of air communications be met by placing under American administration the airport at Tulln, twenty kilometers north-west of Vienna, in lieu of an airport in Vienna itself. However, neither he nor we know the precise dimensions or conditions of this airport, and if we are to give his proposal proper consideration we should be permitted to survey the airport.
In view of the fact that the area to be zoned is no longer occupied by the enemy, it seems only reasonable to examine it, as you suggested, in order to facilitate completion of the agreements in the European Advisory Commission. The American public would not understand the continued refusal of the Soviet authorities to permit this, in spite of your original suggestion.
I hope, consequently, that you will yourself let me know whether you
will issue to Marshal Tolbukhin the instructions necessary to
facilitate a survey by the Allied representatives of those areas of
Vienna which are now under discussion in the European Advisory
Your message of May 17 about the visit of U.S. and Allied military representatives to Vienna received. Actually I had agreed in principle to their coming but, of course, I had done so on the understanding that by the time they arrived proper agreement would have been reached as to the occupation zones of Austria and the zones themselves determined by the European Advisory Commission.98 As agreed between Mr Churchill, President Roosevelt and myself, these matters are wholly under the jurisdiction of the European Advisory Commission.
That is still my point of view. Hence we could not agree to the point about the occupation zones and other points concerning Austria being referred to Vienna for consideration.
I have no objection, however, to U.S. and Allied representatives going to Vienna to see for themselves the condition of the city and to draft proposals for its occupation zones. Marshal Tolbukhin will be instructed accordingly. The understanding is that the U.S. military representatives should come to Vienna at the end of May or the beginning of June, when Marshal Tolbukhin, now en route to Moscow, returns.
May 18, 1945
Received on May 20, 1945
I feel certain that you are as cognizant as I am of the difficulties of dealing with the complicated and important question with which we are faced by exchanges of messages. Pending the possibility of our meeting, I am therefore sending to Moscow Mr. Harry Hopkins with Ambassador Harriman in order that they may have an opportunity of discussing these matters with you personally. Mr Hopkins will return immediately to Washington following his talks in order that he may report to me personally. Mr Hopkins and Ambassador Harriman plan to arrive in Moscow about May 26. I would appreciate it if you would advise me whether this time meets with your convenience.
I have received your message about the arrival of Mr Hopkins and Ambassador Harriman in Moscow by May 26. I readily agree to your suggestion for a meeting with Mr Hopkins and Ambassador Harriman. May 26 suits me perfectly.
May 20, 1945
Received on May 21, 1945
I have received your message of May 18 concerning the dispatch of
Allied representatives to Vienna for the purpose of acquainting
themselves with the situation there and preparing proposals regarding
zones of occupation, and I have informed our representatives of the
dates you suggested.
Received on May 21, 1945
I have been keeping you informed through the Embassy in Moscow of the United States position with respect to the interim administration of Venezia Giulia. Your Government, in particular, was furnished with copies of the recent United States and British Notes to Marshal Tito which proposed, in accordance with the previous understanding arrived at between Marshal Alexander and Marshal Tito in February of this year, that the Supreme Allied Commander, in order not to prejudice any final disposition of the territory by either of the claimants, should exercise control in an area to include Trieste, Monfalcone, Gorizia and Pola.
We have now had a reply from Marshal Tito. This reply is entirely unsatisfactory in that he states that his Government is not prepared “to renounce the right of the Yugoslav Army holding the territory up to the Isonzo River.” With regard to the administration of the area he offers a solution which cannot be reconciled with the principles we have set forth. Meanwhile, the problem of the forces of Marshal Alexander and Marshal Tito in undefined areas of occupation and the dual nature of the control which is thus created are fraught with danger. You will have seen from the communication of Ambassador Harriman to Mr Molotov of last March, as well as from our recent public statement and from the communication to Marshal Tito, that we cannot view this simply as a boundary dispute between Yugoslavia and Italy but must look upon it as a question of principle which involves the pacific settlement of territorial disputes, and the foundation of a lasting peace in Europe. Neither now nor in the future will we take or permit any action in respect to this territory which does not fully take into account the legitimate claims of Yugoslavia and the contribution which Yugoslav forces made to the victory over Germany, which was won at such great cost to all of us. We cannot, however, accept any compromise upon the principles of an orderly and rapid settlement, and Marshal Tito is being informed to this effect.
You will agree, I know, that we must stand firm on the issue of
principle, and I hope that we can likewise count on your influence to
assist in bringing about the provisional settlement outlined in our
recent Note to Marshal Tito. Once Field Marshal Alexander’s authority
has been extended in the section of Venezia Giulia indicated in our
Note and tranquility has thus been restored, we could then continue to
work toward further adjustments of the problem in the spirit of the
understandings reached at Yalta.
Your message on the Istria-Trieste area reached me on May 21. A little earlier I received from you, through Mr Kennan, the text of a message on the same subject,99 transmitted by the U.S. Ambassador in Belgrade to the Yugoslav Government. Thank you for the information.
My views on the substance of the matter are as follows.
I think you are quite correct in saying that the matter is one of principle and that in relation to the Istria-Trieste territory no action should be permitted that does not take full account of Yugoslavia’s rightful claims and of the contribution made by the Yugoslav armed forces to the common Allied cause in fighting against Hitler Germany. It goes without saying that the future of that territory, the population of which is mostly Yugoslav, will have to be determined at the peace settlement. However, the point at issue at the moment is its temporary military occupation. In this respect account should be taken, I believe, of the fact that it was the allied Yugoslav troops who drove the German invaders out of the Istria-Trieste territory thereby rendering an important service to the common Allied cause. By virtue of this circumstance alone, it would be unfair and would be a gratuitous insult to the Yugoslav Army and people to deny Yugoslavia the right to occupy a territory won from the enemy, after their great sacrifice in the struggle for the national rights of Yugoslavia and for the common cause of the United Nations.14
The right solution of this problem, in my view, would be for the Yugoslav troops and administration now functioning in the Istria-Trieste area to stay there. At the same time the area should be placed under the control of the Allied Supreme Commander and a demarcation line established by mutual agreement between Field Marshal Alexander and Marshal Tito. If these proposals were accepted the problem of administration in the Istria-Trieste area would likewise find the right solution.
And since Yugoslavs are a majority in the territory and even during the German occupation a local Yugoslav administration, now enjoying the trust of the local population, began to function there, these things should be taken into account. The problem of administrative government of the territory could be properly solved by subordinating the existing Yugoslav civil administration to the Yugoslav Military Command.
I do hope that the misunderstandings over the status of the Istria-Trieste region, which have arisen between the U.S. and British Governments, on the one hand, and the Yugoslav Government, on the other, will be removed and a happy solution found.
May 22, 1945
Received on May 23, 1945
Your wire concerning Mr Hopkins’ visit has been received, and I was most pleased to have it. I think it is wiser that I announce publicly his proposed visit to Moscow following his departure from the United States rather than risk having it leak out and become the subject of speculation in the press. Mr Hopkins is planning to leave tomorrow morning, May 23, and later in the day I propose to announce to the press that he is proceeding to Moscow in company with Ambassador Harriman to talk over with you matters now under discussion between our two Governments.
According to information at the disposal of the Soviet Military and Naval Commands, Germany, in keeping with the instrument of surrender, has delivered her navy and merchant marine to the British and Americans. I must inform you that the Germans have refused to surrender a single warship or merchant vessel to the Soviet armed forces, and have sent the whole of their navy and merchant marine to be handed over to the Anglo-American armed forces.
In these circumstances the question naturally arises of assigning the Soviet Union its share of German warships and merchant vessels, as was done with regard to Italy. The Soviet Government holds that it can with good reason and in all fairness count on a minimum of one-third of Germany’s navy and merchant marine. In addition I think it necessary for the naval representatives of the U.S.S.R. to be enabled to acquaint themselves with all the materials pertaining to the surrender of Germany’s navy and merchant marine, and with their actual condition.
The Soviet Naval Command has appointed Admiral Levchenko and a group of assistants to take care of the matter.
I am sending a similar message to Prime Minister Churchill.
May 23, 1945
Received on May 25, 1945
I have received your message of May 22 on the question of Istria-Trieste and wish to thank you for your expression of opinion on this subject.
More than eight months have passed since Roumania and Bulgaria broke off relations with Hitler Germany, signed an armistice with the Allied countries and entered the war on the Allied side, against Germany, assigning their armed forces for the purpose. They thereby contributed to the defeat of Hitlerism and to the victorious conclusion of the war in Europe. The Governments of Bulgaria and Roumania have during this time demonstrated by deeds their readiness to cooperate with the United Nations.14 Consequently the Soviet Government deems it proper and timely right away to resume diplomatic relations with Roumania and Bulgaria and exchange envoys with them.
The Soviet Government also considers it advisable to resume diplomatic relations with Finland, which, fulfilling the terms of the armistice agreement, is now taking the democratic way. I think it will be possible a little later to adopt a similar decision with regard to Hungary.
I am simultaneously sending a similar message to Mr W. Churchill.
May 27, 1945
Received on May 30, 1945
Thanks for your suggestion regarding surrendered German ships contained in your message of May 23rd.
This appears to me to be an appropriate subject for discussion by the three of us at the forthcoming meeting at which time I am sure a solution which will be fully acceptable to all of us can be reached.
With regard to the available records of the German naval surrender, it is my understanding that examination of the German files is now being considered by our appropriate commanders in the areas concerned.
Mr Hopkins conveyed to me today your proposal for a tripartite meeting. I have no objection to the date – July 15 – suggested by you.
May 30, 1945
Received on May 31, 1945
I have received your message of May 23 and am glad you share my conviction that the future of the Venezia Giulia territory should be determined during the peace adjustment. Only by the maintenance of these principles which take into account legitimate aspirations of the peoples concerned can we insure for the future peaceful and orderly development.
Subsequent to the dispatch of my message to you on May 20 Marshal Tito has informed both the United States and British Governments that he agrees to the establishment of Allied Military Government under the authority of the Allied Supreme Command in the Mediterranean. In order that the Allied Commander may fulfill the responsibility we have placed upon him in this respect he must have adequate authority to enable him to carry out this task and to safeguard the interests of all concerned. We must therefore leave to him the determination of the method in which civil administration will be carried out and the number of Yugoslav troops under his command which may be maintained in the area. He is prepared to utilize Yugoslav civil administration which in his opinion is working satisfactorily but, particularly in centers which are predominantly Italian, he must have authority to change administrative personnel in his discretion.
We can, I am confident, work out a solution along these lines and I am instructing the American Ambassador in Moscow to furnish your Government with the details of the proposal which the British and American Governments are presenting to Marshal Tito in the confident assurance that we can arrive at a satisfactory settlement.
Received on June 2, 1945
Thanks for your message of May 30 with regard to the date of our forthcoming tripartite meeting.
I have informed Prime Minister Churchill that you and I are agreeable to meeting about July 15 in the vicinity of Berlin.
Your message of June 2 received.
I have already written to you that I agree to July 15 as a perfectly suitable date for the tripartite meeting.
June 3, 1945
Received on June 7, 1945
I have given considerable thought to your message of May 27 in which you propose that our Governments should establish diplomatic relations with Finland, Roumania and Bulgaria at this time and with Hungary at a later time.
The suggestion you have made shows that you feel, as I do, that we should endeavor to make the period of the armistice regimes as short as possible and also give prompt recognition to all efforts which may be made by those countries formerly our enemies to align themselves with the democratic principles of the allied nations. I agree, therefore, that at the earliest feasible time normal relations with these countries should be established.
Accordingly, I am prepared to proceed with the exchange of diplomatic representatives with Finland at once because the Finnish people, through their elections and other political adjustments, have demonstrated their genuine devotion to democratic procedures and principles.
However, I have not found in Hungary, Roumania and Bulgaria the same encouraging signs. Particularly in the latter two countries, I have been disturbed to find governments which do not accord to all democratic elements of the people the rights of free expression and which in their system of administration are, in my opinion, neither representative of or responsive to the will of the people. From Ambassador Harriman’s note of March 14100 you already know the reasons why the United States Government considers that the political situation in Roumania should be made the subject of consultation among the three principal Allied Governments. You are also aware of American concern over the proposed electoral procedures and certain other political manifestations in Bulgaria.
It is my sincere hope that the time may soon come when I can accredit formal diplomatic representatives to these countries. To this end I am ready at any moment to have my representatives meet with Soviet and British representatives in order to concert more effectively our policies and actions in this area. This would, I think, be a constructive move towards the restoration of normal peacetime relations with them as independent states ready to assume the responsibilities and to share the benefits of participation in the family of nations.
Prime Minister Churchill is being informed of this message.
Thank you for your second message about the Istria-Trieste area. I have also read Mr Harriman’s Note setting forth the proposals of the U.S. and British Governments to the Government of Yugoslavia for a settlement.101
I gather from your communication that agreement has been reached in principle between the U.S. and British Governments, on the one hand, and the Yugoslav Government, on the other, concerning the establishment in the Trieste-Istria territory of an Allied Military Administration under the Allied Commander-in-Chief in the Mediterranean. I think, however, that a complete settlement of the situation in Trieste-Istria necessitates agreement with the Yugoslav Government also on the concrete proposals made by the U.S. and British Governments.
Now that the Yugoslav Government has consented to the establishment of an Allied Military Administration in the Trieste-Istria territory it is my hope that nothing will be put in the way of Yugoslav interests being fully met and that a happy solution will be found to the entire problem of the present strained situation in the Trieste-Istria area.
June 8, 1945
I have received your message in reply to my suggestions for resuming diplomatic relations with Roumania, Bulgaria, Finland and Hungary.
It appears from your message that you, too, consider it desirable to establish normal diplomatic relations with these countries at the earliest possible date. However, I see no reason to show any preference in the matter to Finland which, unlike Roumania or Bulgaria, did not participate on the Allied side in the war against Hitler Germany. Public opinion in the Soviet Union and the entire Soviet command would find it hard to understand if Roumania and Bulgaria, the armed forces of which have played an active part in the defeat of Hitler Germany, were to be placed in a less favourable position compared with Finland.
As regards political regimes, the opportunities for the democratic elements in Roumania and Bulgaria are not less than, say, in Italy, with which the Governments of the United States and the Soviet Union have already resumed diplomatic relations. On the other hand, one cannot but notice that in recent times political development in Roumania and Bulgaria has pursued a tranquil course, and I see no signs that could give grounds for disquiet over the future development of democratic principles in these countries. And so, as I see it, there is no need for special Allied measures as far as these countries are concerned.
Hence the Soviet Government holds that resumption of diplomatic relations with Roumania, Bulgaria and Finland should not be delayed any longer and that the question of Hungary might be considered somewhat later.
June 9, 1945
Sent on June 11, 1945
The White House, Washington
On the third anniversary of the Soviet-American Agreement on the Principles Applying to Mutual Aid in the Prosecution of the War against Aggression,102 I beg you and the Government of the United States of America to accept this expression of gratitude on behalf of the Soviet Government and myself.
The Agreement, under which the United States of America throughout the war in Europe supplied the Soviet Union, by way of lend-lease,5 with munitions, strategic materials and food, played an important role and to a considerable degree contributed to the successful conclusion of the war against the common foe – Hitler Germany.
I feel entirely confident that the friendly links between the Soviet
Union and the United States of America, strengthened in the course of
their joint effort, will continue to develop for the benefit of our
peoples and in the interests of durable cooperation between all
Received on June 12, 1945
I appreciate deeply your message of June 10 and thank you for your attentive interest in our effort to come to a friendly agreement with Marshal Tito on the question of military government in the Trieste area.
The agreement signed at Belgrade on June 9 covered the concrete proposals of the Governments of Great Britain and the United States.103 I agree fully that there should be no delay in coming to a firm settlement of the military government question and it is to this end that Marshal Alexander’s Chief of Staff will meet next week with Marshal Tito’s Chief of Staff to work out the details, both military and technical.
Received on June 15, 1945
I propose, now that Germany’s unconditional defeat has been announced and the Control Council104 for Germany has had its first meeting, that we should issue at once definite instructions which will get forces into their respective zones and will initiate orderly administration of the defeated territory. As to Germany, I am ready to have instructions issued to all American troops to begin withdrawal into their own zone on June 21 in accordance with arrangements between the respective commanders, including in these arrangements simultaneous movement of the national garrisons into Greater Berlin and provision of free access for United States forces by air, road and rail to Berlin from Frankfurt and Bremen.
The settlement of the Austrian problem I consider of equal urgency to the German matter. The redistribution of forces into occupation zones which have been agreed in principle by the European Advisory Commission,98 the movement of the national garrisons into Vienna and the establishment of the Allied Commission for Austria should take place simultaneously with these developments in Germany. I attach, therefore, utmost importance to settling the outstanding Austrian problems in order that the whole arrangement of German and Austrian affairs can be put into operation simultaneously. The recent visit of American, British and French missions to Vienna will, I hope, result in the European Advisory Commission being able without delay to take the necessary remaining decisions to this end.
I propose, if you agree with the foregoing, that our respective commanders be issued appropriate instructions at once.
Received on June 15, 1945
T. V. Soong has left today by plane to proceed to Moscow via Chungking.
By the end of June he will arrive in Moscow to discuss the details of the arrangements for Soviet-Chinese agreements.
Instructions have been given Ambassador Hurley to inform Chiang Kai-shek on June 15 of the Soviet conditions and to make every effort to obtain his agreement therewith. Ambassador Hurley is directed to inform the Generalissimo49 that the United States Government will support the Yalta Agreement.105
I am in receipt of your message about preparations for a Soviet-Chinese agreement and your instructions to Mr Hurley. Thank you for the steps you have taken.
June 15, 1945
Received on June 15, 1945
Please accept from me and on behalf of the Government of the United States appreciation of your kind message of June 12.
I have every confidence that continuation in the future of our friendly understanding cooperation will meet the same success in preserving peace and international goodwill as did our common effort in the war against the Nazis.
I am looking forward with much pleasure to meeting you in the near future and discussing fully our common problems.
Your message about the withdrawal of Allied troops in Germany and Austria into their respective zones received.
Regretfully I must tell you that your proposal for beginning the withdrawal of U.S. troops into their zone and moving U.S. troops into Berlin on June 21 is meeting with difficulties, for Marshal Zhukov and other military commanders have been summoned to the Supreme Soviet session which opens in Moscow on June 19, and also to arrange and take part in a parade on June 24. Moreover, some of the districts of Berlin have not yet been cleared of mines, nor can the mine-clearing operations be finished until late June. Since Marshal Zhukov and the other Soviet military commanders will not be able to return to Germany before June 28-30, I should like the beginning of the withdrawal to be put off till July 1, when the commanders will be back at their posts and the mine-clearing finished.
As regards Austria, what I have said about summoning the Soviet commanders to Moscow and the time of their return to their posts applies to that country as well. It is essential, furthermore, that in the next few days the European Advisory Commission98 should complete its work on establishing the occupation zones in Austria and in Vienna. In view of the foregoing the stationing of the respective forces in the zones assigned to them in Austria should likewise be postponed till July 1.
Besides, in respect of both Germany and Austria we must establish occupation zones right away for the French troops.
We for our part shall take proper steps in Germany and Austria according to the plan set out above.
June 16, 1945
Received on June 19, 1945
I have received your message of June 16 with regard to Allied occupation of agreed zones in Germany and Austria.
I have issued to the American commander instructions to begin the movement on July 1st as you requested. It is assumed that American troops will be in Berlin at an early date in sufficient numbers to carry out their duties in preparation for our meeting.
Received on June 19, 1945
I fully agree that the establishment of diplomatic relations with Roumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland, to which you revert in your telegram of June 9, would be a constructive step.
Our exchange of messages on this subject shows that our Governments may not be approaching the matter in quite the same way because the state of our respective relations with these various states is not identical. For example, there would be no obstacle to the immediate resumption of diplomatic relations between the United States and Finland and, as regards Roumania, Hungary and Bulgaria, while our general interests are the same all around we find that the present situation has different aspects in each country.
I am giving this matter further study. As the most practical way of coming to a uniform agreement I therefore propose that we discuss it at our forthcoming meeting.
Although the Yugoslav Government has accepted the U.S. and British Governments’ proposal concerning the Istria-Trieste area, the Trieste negotiations seem to be deadlocked. The main reason is that the representatives of the Allied Command in the Mediterranean refuse to entertain even the minimum wishes of the Yugoslavs, to whom credit is due for liberating the area from the German invaders, an area, moreover, where the Yugoslav population predominates. This situation cannot be considered satisfactory from the Allied point of view.
Being loath to aggravate relations, I have so far in my correspondence refrained from mentioning the conduct of Field Marshal Alexander, but now I must stress that in the course of the negotiations the haughty tone to which Field Marshal Alexander sometimes resorts in relation to the Yugoslavs is inadmissible. It is simply intolerable that Field Marshal Alexander has, in an official public address, permitted himself to compare Marshal Tito with Hitler and Mussolini. That is unfair and insulting to Yugoslavia.
The Soviet Government was also surprised by the peremptory tone of the statement which the Anglo-American representatives made to the Yugoslav Government on June 2. How can one expect to get lasting and positive results by using such methods?
The foregoing compels me to draw your attention to the situation. I still hope that as far as Trieste-Istria is concerned, the Yugoslavs’ rightful interests will be respected, particularly in view of the fact that on the main point the Yugoslavs have met the Allies half-way.
June 21, 1945
I am in receipt of your message of June 19 about resuming diplomatic relations with Roumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland.
I see that you are still studying the matter. As for me I maintain as heretofore that there is no justification for further delay in resuming diplomatic relations with Roumania and Bulgaria.
June 23, 1945
Received on June 26, 1945
Subsequent to the receipt of your message of June 21 with reference to the negotiations at Trieste I have been informed by the Supreme Allied Commander that these discussions in Trieste have been concluded and a supplementary military accord signed. The sole purpose of these discussions was to implement the military aspects of the political agreement reached between the United States, British and Yugoslav Governments on June 9. The June 9 agreement embodied the principle that the future disposition of the Venezia Giulia territory should be reserved for orderly adjustment as a part of the eventual peace settlement, and that nothing in the agreement would prejudice or affect the ultimate disposal of this territory.
It was conceded, after agreement had been reached on this point, that Yugoslav administration could be established in the disputed area up to the limit of the territory necessary to meet Allied military requirements. Due regard has been given throughout the discussions, both on the government and military level, to legitimate interests of both Yugoslav and Italian populations as well as to the contribution made by Yugoslavia to the elimination of German military power.
The Allied Commander, as I said in my previous message to you on this subject, must have adequate authority in the area entrusted to him to enable him to carry out his task and to safeguard the interests of all concerned. In a like fashion responsibility of the Yugoslav Commander has been recognized and there has been no effort to interfere with the exercise of his responsibility in the region of Venezia Giulia entrusted to him east of the agreed line. The Allied Governments must therefore insist, particularly since both commanders have agreed that they will refrain from any action prejudicing the final settlement, that there be no interference with the exercise of their responsibility west of the line.
During the conversations at Trieste it is true difficulties arose since it appeared that the Yugoslav authorities did not fully appreciate that the fundamental principle of the agreement of June 9 was that no action could be permitted which would prejudice the ultimate disposal of the area. The Yugoslav military commander declined at first to recognize the Allied Commander’s authority which was established by Article 3 of the Belgrade Agreement103 over administration west of the line. This and other acts on the part of local commanders subsequent to June 9 have given rise to the impression that the full extent of the agreement reached with Marshal Tito and the Belgrade Government had not been communicated to these local commanders.
If there should be any further aspects of the agreement which you feel should be considered, we shall have an opportunity at our early meeting to discuss this.
Received on July 5, 1945
I am today announcing, in conformity with our understanding, that the press will not be allowed at “Terminal”106 and that all that will be issued from “Terminal” will be such official communiqués as may from time to time be decided upon.
I am sending Prime Minister Churchill a similar message.
Your message of June 26 concerning Trieste-Istria and Yugoslavia to hand.
In this matter there are of course points that warrant joint discussion by us. I am prepared to discuss them when we meet in Germany.
July 6, 1945
My dear Generalissimo,
At the present time American air traffic between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. is accomplished via Tehran. From the United States point of view this is an extremely wasteful use of critically needed air transport, in addition to the time lost in travel.
The U.S. has now established a military transport service into Berlin
for handling official U.S. traffic which could be made available for
official Soviet traffic as well. I therefore seek your approval to
diverting American and Soviet traffic now carried through Tehran to a
route through Berlin.
Harry S. Truman
20 July, 1945
My dear Generalissimo,
It has become highly desirable because of increasing operations of naval and air forces adjacent to Japan and Siberia to augment the facilities for the collection and dissemination of weather information in Eastern Siberia. The increased services should be equally beneficial to the Soviet Union. Weather in the Japan and Japan Sea Area is affected not only by weather movement from west to east over Eastern Siberia but also by the movement associated with typhoons which pass from the Western Pacific northward over Japan.
It is considered that the above urgent needs can best be met through expansion of the United States communications net by providing equipment and liaison personnel for establishment of radio stations and weather controls at Khabarovsk and Petropavlovsk. United States personnel would consist of approximately 60 officers and men at Khabarovsk and 33 officers and men at Petropavlovsk. Details of this proposal have been previously communicated to the Soviet General Staff.
Because of the important bearing of weather on current and future
operations, early accomplishment of these proposed improvements is most
important. I, therefore, urge your approval and the issuance of the
necessary instructions for the early completion of the detailed
arrangements by our respective staffs.107
Harry S. Truman
21 July, 1945
An acute coal famine threatens Europe this winter unless German coal in substantial quantities can be made available for export. Despite our own shortages of coal, internal transportation and ocean shipping, we are now shipping coal to Europe as an emergency measure in order to provide some relief in the present crisis. It is obvious, however, that with our large commitment of industrial and military resources in the war against Japan, the quantities of coal which we can make available to Europe will be inadequate to cover pressing European needs. To meet these needs all possible measures should immediately be taken to increase coal production in Germany and to make the maximum quantities available for export.
In order to avoid delay, I have directed the United States Commander-in-Chief to take the necessary measures in his zone of occupation. I understand that the British and French Governments have issued similar directives to their respective commanders in Germany. A copy of the directive to General Eisenhower is attached.
I am most anxious that a common policy in respect to coal should be
followed by the four occupying Powers, and I have therefore instructed
General Eisenhower to discuss the policy set forth in the above
directive at the Allied Control Council104 at the earliest
possible date. I trust that the Soviet Government will see their way to
joining with us in this policy. It is my hope that they will be
prepared to instruct their Commander-in- Chief to take similar action
in the portions of Germany occupied by Soviet forces, and to proceed
with the formulation in the Control Council of a coal production and
export program for Germany as a whole.
27 July, 1945
Unless large quantities of coal are made available to liberated Europe in forthcoming months, there is grave danger of such political and economic chaos as to prejudice the redeployment of Allied troops and to jeopardize the achievement of the restoration of economic stability which is the necessary basis for a firm and just peace. Adequate quantities of coal for the greater part of Europe cannot, as a practical matter, be obtained from any source other than Germany. It is a matter of great urgency that Germany be made to produce for export to other European nations the coal which they must have to support economic life on at least a minimum basis.
You are therefore directed in your capacity of Commanding General of United States Forces in Germany and as United States member of the Allied Control Council, to take all steps necessary to achieve the following objectives:
1. To make available for export out of the production of the coal mines in Western Germany a minimum of 10 million tons of coal during 1945, and a further 15 million tons by the end of April 1946.
2. To the extent necessary to accomplish the export of 25 million tons of coal at the rate directed, to assign the highest priority to all matters pertaining to maximizing the production and transportation of German coal, in particular the provisioning of mining supplies, transportation facilities, and food supplies adequate to maintain mining labor at the requisite level of efficiency. This requirement should be subordinate only to the civil and military requirements necessary to insure the safety, security, health, maintenance, and operation of the occupying forces and to insure the speedy redeployment of Allied forces from Germany.
3. To recommend to the Control Council (a) an assignment to the production and export of coal from Eastern Germany of an urgency as great as that implied in the required export of 25 million tons of coal from Western Germany by the end of April 1946, and (b) the formulation of a coordinated program for Germany as a whole covering the production, distribution, and export of coal.
4. To assist in every reasonable way, efforts to maximize the production of coal in other zones of occupation than your own.
5. To recommend to the Control Council, and to follow in your zone of occupation, the principle that in allocating coal within Germany, the export of coal is to take precedence over the use of coal for industrial production and civilian purposes within Germany to the extent necessary to accomplish the export of 25 million tons of coal from Western Germany at the rate suggested and to comply with paragraph 3, above, subject only to the requirements set out in paragraph 2, above.
It is recognized that the following of this policy during the period of critical coal shortage will delay the resumption of industrial activity in Germany. It is also recognized that the carrying out of the above policies with respect to German coal may cause unemployment, unrest, and dissatisfaction among Germans of a magnitude which may necessitate firm and rigorous action. Any action required to control the situation will be fully supported.
6. To make available to the European Coal Organization full and complete details of coal production and coal allocations within Germany, in order that the member nations of the European Coal Organization may know the relationship that prevails between the level of coal consumption in Germany and the level of coal consumption in liberated Europe.
7. To assign a high priority to the production and export of brown coal briquettes and of additional quantities of other coal in excess of the 25 million tons specified in paragraph 1.
8. A similar directive is being issued to the United Kingdom and French zonal commanders by their respective Governments.
My dear Mr President,
I have received your message of July 20 about diverting the route of U.S. and Soviet traffic from Tehran to Berlin.
The Soviet Government takes a favourable view of your proposal. The
appropriate Soviet authorities have been instructed to discuss with
U.S. representatives the technical problems arising out of the proposal.
Berlin, July 29, 1945
My dear Mr President,
Your Memorandum of July 27 about German coal, and the copy of your instructions to Gen. Eisenhower, have reached me.
The important matter of using German coal to meet European requirements, raised in your Memorandum, will be duly studied. The Government of the United States of America will be informed of the Soviet Government’s view on the subject.
I must say, however, that care should be taken to ensure that the
measures for exporting the coal do not give rise to disturbances of any
kind in Germany, to which you draw attention in your instructions to
Gen. Eisenhower, and I think this is quite feasible and essential from
the standpoint of the interests of the Allied countries.
Berlin, July 29, 1945
My dear Generalissimo Stalin,
I regret very much to hear of your illness. I hope it is not of a serious nature and that you will fully recover at an early date.
You have my very best wishes.
Berlin, July 30, 1945
My dear Mr President,
Thank you for your letter of July 30. I feel better today, and expect to be able to attend the Conference tomorrow, July 31.
Very sincerely yours,
Berlin, July 30, 1945
My dear Mr President,
Thank you for sending me your portrait. I shall not fail to send you mine the moment I return to Moscow.
Berlin, July 30, 1945
In response to your suggestion that I write you a letter as to the Far Eastern situation, I am attaching a form of letter which I propose to send you at your convenience after you notify me you have reached an agreement with the Government of China.
If this is satisfactory to you, you can let me know immediately when
you have reached such agreement and I will wire you the letter, to be
used as you see fit. I will also send you by fastest courier the
official letter signed by me. If you decide to use it it will be all
right. However, if you decide to issue a statement basing your action
on other grounds or for any other reason prefer not to use this letter
it will be satisfactory to me. I leave it to your good judgment.
Berlin, July 30, 1945
The Soviet Delegation
Dear Generalissimo Stalin
Paragraph 5 of the Declaration signed at Moscow October 30, 1943, by the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and China,60 provides:
“5. That for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security pending the re-establishment of law and order and the inauguration of a system of general security, they will consult with one another and as occasion requires with other members of the United Nations14 with a view to joint action on behalf of the community of nations.”
Article 106 of the proposed Charter of the United Nations provides:
“Pending the coming into force of such special agreements referred to in Article 43 as in the opinion of the Security Council enable it to begin the exercise of its responsibilities under Article 42, the parties to the Four-Nation Declaration, signed at Moscow, October 30, 1943, and France, shall, in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 5 of that Declaration, consult with one another and as occasion requires with other members of the United Nations with a view to such joint action on behalf of the Organization as may be necessary for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security.”
Article 103 of the Charter provides:
“In the event of a conflict between the obligations of the Members of the United Nations under the present Charter and their obligations under any other international agreement, their obligations under the present Charter shall prevail.”
Though the Charter has not been formally ratified, at San Francisco it was agreed to by the Representatives of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the Soviet Government will be one of the permanent members of the Security Council.
It seems to me that under the terms of the Moscow Declaration and the provisions of the Charter, above referred to, it would be proper for the Soviet Union to indicate its willingness to consult and cooperate with other Great Powers now at war with Japan with a view to joint action on behalf of the community of nations to maintain peace and security.
July 31, 1945
Received on August 12, 1945
In accordance with the message dated August 11, addressed by the United States to the Swiss Government for transmission to the Japanese Government in reply to the Note received from the Swiss Government on August 10, 1945,108 I propose that General of the Army, Douglas MacArthur, be designated Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers to accept, coordinate and carry into effect the general surrender of the Japanese Armed Forces.
If you will notify me of the designation of the officer you wish to act as your representative, I will instruct General MacArthur to make the arrangements necessary for your representative at the time and place of surrender.
It is also contemplated that General MacArthur will direct the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters to have Japanese forces in your area of operations surrender unconditionally to the Soviet High Commander in the Far East or to his subordinate commanders. I am assuming that you are in general accord with the above procedure and am issuing preliminary instructions to General MacArthur to this effect. Request you advise me immediately of your designated representative so that I may notify General MacArthur. I suggest that direct communication with General MacArthur on each arrangement be initiated at once.
I have received your message of August 12 about designating General of the Army Douglas MacArthur Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers to accept, coordinate and carry into effect the general surrender of the Japanese Armed Forces.
The Soviet Government accepts your proposal and is in agreement with the procedure suggested by you which provides that General MacArthur shall issue to the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters instructions concerning unconditional surrender of the Japanese troops to the Soviet High Commander in the Far East as well. Lieutenant-General Derevyanko has been appointed the representative of the Soviet Military High Command, and has received appropriate directions.
August 12, 1945
The following message has been sent today to the American commanders in the Pacific and Western Pacific areas:
“The Government of Japan having on 14 August accepted the Allied Governments’ demand for surrender, you are hereby directed to suspend offensive operations against Japanese military and naval forces in so far as is consistent with the safety of Allied forces in your area.”
August 14, 1945
I have approved the following general order to General of the Army
MacArthur covering details of the surrender of Japanese Armed Forces:
General Order Number 1.
1. Military and Naval.
I. The Imperial General Headquarters by direction of the Emperor, and pursuant to the surrender to the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers of all Japanese Armed Forces by the Emperor, hereby orders all of its commanders in Japan and abroad to cause the Japanese Armed Forces and Japanese-controlled forces under their command to cease hostilities at once, to lay down their arms, to remain in their present locations and to surrender unconditionally to commanders acting on behalf of the United States, The Republic of China, The United Kingdom and the British Empire, and The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, as indicated hereafter or as may be further directed by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers. Immediate contact will be made with the indicated commanders, or their designated representatives, subject to any changes in detail prescribed by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, and their instructions will be completely and immediately carried out.
a. The Senior Japanese Commanders and all ground, sea, air and auxiliary forces within China (excluding Manchuria), Formosa and French Indo-China north of 16 degrees north latitude shall surrender to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek.
b. The Senior Japanese Commanders and all ground, sea, air and auxiliary forces within Manchuria, Korea north of 38 degrees north latitude and Karafuto shall surrender to the Commander- in-Chief of Soviet Forces in the Far East.
c. The Senior Japanese Commanders and all ground, sea, air and auxiliary forces within the Andamans, Nicobars, Burma, Thailand, French Indo-China south of 16 degrees north latitude, Malaya, Borneo, Netherlands Indies, New Guinea, Bismarcks, and the Solomons, shall surrender (to the Supreme Allied Commander, South-east Asia Command, or the Commanding General, Australian Forces – the exact breakdown between Mountbatten and the Australians to be arranged between them and the details of this paragraph then prepared by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers).
d. The Senior Japanese Commanders and all ground, sea, air and auxiliary forces in the Japanese mandated islands, Ryukyus, Bonins, and other Pacific islands shall surrender to the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
e. The Imperial General Headquarters, its Senior Commanders, and all ground, sea, air and auxiliary forces in the main islands of Japan, minor islands adjacent thereto, Korea south of 38 degrees north latitude, and the Philippines shall surrender to the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Armed Forces in the Pacific.
f. The above indicated commanders are the only representatives of the Allied Powers empowered to accept surrenders, and all surrenders of Japanese forces shall be made only to them or to their representatives.
The Japanese Imperial General Headquarters further orders its commanders in Japan and abroad to disarm completely all forces of Japan or under Japanese control, wherever they may be situated, and to deliver intact and in safe and good condition all weapons and equipment at such time and at such places as may be prescribed by the Allied commanders indicated above. (Pending further instructions, the Japanese police force in the main islands of Japan will be exempt from this disarmament provision. The police force will remain at their posts and shall be held responsible for the preservation of law and order. The strength and arms for such a police force will be prescribed.)
II. The Japanese Imperial General Headquarters shall furnish to the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, within (time limit) of receipt of this order, complete information with respect to Japan and all areas under Japanese control, as follows:
a. Lists of all land, air and anti-aircraft units showing locations and strengths officers and men.
b. Lists of all aircraft, military, naval and civil, giving complete information as to the number, type, location and condition of such aircraft.
c. Lists of all Japanese and Japanese-controlled naval vessels, surface and submarine and auxiliary naval craft in or out of commission and under construction giving their position, condition and movement.
d. Lists of all Japanese and Japanese-controlled merchant ships of over 100 gross tons, in or out of commission and under construction, including merchant ships formerly belonging to any of the United Nations14 that are now in Japanese hands, giving their position, condition and movement.
e. Complete and detailed information, accompanied by maps, showing locations and layouts of all mines, minefields, and other obstacles to movement by land, sea, or air, and the safety lanes in connection therewith.
f. Locations and descriptions of all military installations and establishments, including air fields, sea-plane bases, anti-aircraft defenses, ports and naval bases, storage depots, permanent and temporary land and coast fortifications, fortresses and other fortified areas.
g. Locations of all camps and other places of detention of United Nations prisoners of war and civilian internees.
III. Japanese armed forces and civil aviation authorities will insure that all Japanese military, naval and civil aircraft remain on the ground, on the water, or aboard ship, until further notification of the disposition to be made of them.
IV. Japanese or Japanese-controlled naval or merchant vessels of all types will be maintained without damage and will undertake no movement pending instructions from the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers. Vessels at sea will immediately render harmless and throw overboard explosives of all types. Vessels not at sea will immediately remove explosives of all types to safe storage ashore.
V. Responsible Japanese or Japanese-controlled military and civil authorities will insure that:
a. All Japanese mines, minefields and other obstacles to movement by land, sea and air, wherever located, be removed according to instructions of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers.
b. All aids to navigation be re-established at once.
c. All safety lanes be kept open and clearly marked pending accomplishment of a. above.
VI. Responsible Japanese and Japanese-controlled military and civil authorities will hold intact and in good condition pending further instructions from the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers the following:
a. All arms, ammunition, explosives, military equipment, stores and supplies, and other implements of war of all kinds and all other war material (except as specifically prescribed in Section IV of this order).
b. All land, water and air transportation and communication facilities and equipment.
c. All military installations and establishments, including air fields, sea-plane bases, anti-aircraft defenses, ports and naval bases, storage depots, permanent and temporary land and coast fortifications, fortresses and other fortified areas, together with plans and drawings of all such fortifications, installations and establishments.
d. All factories, plants, shops, research institutions, laboratories, testing stations, technical data, patents, plans, drawings and inventions designed or intended to produce or to facilitate the production or use of all implements of war and other material and property used by or intended for use by any military or paramilitary organization in connection with its operations.
VII. The Japanese Imperial General Headquarters shall furnish to the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, within (time limit) of receipt of this order, complete lists of all items specified in paragraphs a, b, and d of Section VI, above, indicating the numbers, types and locations of each.
VIII. The manufacture and distribution of all arms, ammunition and implements of war will cease forthwith.
IX. With respect to United Nations prisoners of war and civilian internees in the hands of Japanese or Japanese-controlled authorities:
a. The safety and well-being of all United Nations prisoners of war and civilian internees will be scrupulously preserved, to include the administrative and supply services essential to provide adequate food, shelter, clothing, and medical care until such responsibility is undertaken by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers;
b. Each camp or other place of detention of United Nations prisoners of war and civilian internees together with its equipment, stores, records, arms, and ammunition will be delivered immediately to the command of the senior officer or designated representative of the prisoners of war and civilian internees;
c. As directed by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, prisoners of war and civilian internees will be transported to places of safety where they can be accepted by Allied authorities;
d. The Japanese Imperial General Headquarters will furnish to the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, within (time limit) of the receipt of this order, complete lists of all United Nations prisoners of war and civilian internees, indicating their locations.
X. All Japanese and Japanese-controlled military and civil authorities shall aid and assist the occupation of Japan and Japanese- controlled areas by forces of the Allied Powers.
XI. The Japanese Imperial General Headquarters and appropriate Japanese officials shall be prepared, on instructions from Allied occupation commanders, to collect and deliver all arms in the possession of the Japanese civilian population.
XII. This and all subsequent instructions issued by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Forces or other Allied military authorities will be scrupulously and promptly obeyed by Japanese and Japanese-controlled military and civil officials and private persons. Any delay or failure to comply with the provisions of this or subsequent orders, and any action which the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers determines to be detrimental to the Allied Powers, will incur drastic and summary punishment at the hands of Allied military authorities and the Japanese Government.
This order is approved by me with the understanding that it is subject to change, both by further instructions issued through the Joint Chiefs of Staff and by changes in matters of detail made by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers in light of the operational situation as known by him. The action on portions of the order in parentheses is a matter for the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers.
August 15, 1945
Your message enclosing General Order Number 1 received. I have nothing against the substance of the order. It is understood that the Liaotung Peninsula is an integral part of Manchuria. However, I suggest amending General Order Number 1 as follows: 1. To include in the area to be surrendered by the Japanese armed forces to the Soviet troops all the Kurile Islands which according to the three-Power decision taken in the Crimea, are to pass into the possession of the Soviet Union.
2. To include in the area to be surrendered by the Japanese armed forces to Soviet troops the northern half of the Island of Hokkaido adjoining in the north La Perouse Strait, which lies between Karafuto and Hokkaido. To draw the demarcation line between the northern and southern halves of Hokkaido along a line running from the town of Kushiro on the east coast of the island to the town of Rumoe on the west coast of the island, including the said towns in the northern half of the island.
This last point is of special importance to Russian public opinion. As is known, in 1919-21 the Japanese occupied the whole of the Soviet Far East. Russian public opinion would be gravely offended if the Russian troops had no occupation area in any part of the territory of Japan proper.
I am most anxious that the modest suggestions set forth above should not meet with any objections.
August 16, 1945
Received on August 18, 1945
Replying to your message of August 16, I agree to your request to modify General Order Number 1 to include all the Kurile Islands in the area to be surrendered to the Commander-in- Chief of the Soviet Forces in the Far East. However, I should like it to be understood that the United States Government desires air base rights for land and sea aircraft on some one of the Kurile Islands, preferably in the central group, for military purposes and for commercial use. I should be glad if you would advise me that you will agree to such an arrangement, the location and other details to be worked out through the appointment of special representatives of our two Governments for this purpose.
Regarding your suggestion as to the surrender of Japanese forces on the Island Hokkaido to Soviet forces, it is my intention and arrangements have been made for the surrender of Japanese forces on all the islands of Japan proper, Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu, to General MacArthur.
General MacArthur will employ Allied token forces, which, of course, includes Soviet forces, in so much of a temporary occupation of Japan proper as he considers it necessary to occupy in order to accomplish our Allied surrender terms.
Your message of August 18 to hand.
I understand your message to imply refusal to accede to the Soviet Union’s request that the northern half of Hokkaido be included in the area of surrender of Japanese armed forces to Soviet troops. I must say that I and my colleagues had not anticipated that such would be your reply.
2. As regards your demand for a permanent air base on one of the Kurile Islands, which, in keeping with the three-Power decision taken in the Crimea, are to pass into the possession of the Soviet Union, I consider it my duty to say the following. First, I must point out that no such measure was envisaged by the tripartite decision either in the Crimea or at Berlin, nor does it in any way follow from the decisions adopted there. Second, demands of this kind are usually laid either before a vanquished country or before an allied country that is unable to defend a particular part of its territory and expresses, therefore, readiness to grant its ally an appropriate base. I do not think the Soviet Union can be classed in either category. Third, since your message furnishes no reasons for the demand that a permanent base be granted, I must tell you in all frankness that neither I nor my colleagues understand the circumstances in which this claim on the Soviet Union could have been conceived.
August 22, 1945
Received on August 27, 1945
In response to your message of August 22, 1945, as far as the base of the Kurile Islands is concerned, my idea was that use of landing rights in the central Kuriles during the occupation of Japan would be an important contribution to the cooperative action we will be taking in connection with the carrying out of the Japanese surrender terms as it would afford another route for air connection with the United States for emergency use during the period of occupation of Japan.
I also felt no hesitancy in bringing up the matter of landing facilities for commercial use. You evidently misunderstood my message because you refer to it as a demand usually laid before a conquered state or an allied state unable to defend parts of its territory. I was not speaking about any territory of the Soviet Republic. I was speaking of the Kurile Islands, Japanese territory, disposition of which must be made at a peace settlement. I was advised that my predecessor agreed to support in the peace settlement the Soviet acquisition of those islands. I did not consider it offensive when you asked me to confirm that agreement. When you expect our support for your desire for permanent possession of all the Kurile Islands, I cannot see why you consider it offensive if I ask for consideration of a request for landing rights on only one of those islands. I consider the request for discussion all the more reasonable because of the close and cordial relations existing between our two Governments and between us personally. While I believe early discussion of these matters would be helpful, I will not press it if you do not wish to discuss them now.
I am in receipt of your message of August 27. I am glad that the misunderstandings that had crept into our correspondence have been dispelled. While not in the least offended by your proposal, I was taken aback by it, for, as is now plain, I had misunderstood you.
Of course, I agree to your suggestion for granting the United States the right to land on our air fields on one of the Kuriles in emergency cases during the period of occupation of Japan.
I am also in agreement with commercial aircraft being granted landing facilities on a Soviet air field on one of the Kuriles. In this matter the Soviet Government counts on U.S. reciprocity with regard to the right of Soviet commercial planes to land on a U.S. air field on one of the Aleutians. The fact is that the present air route from Siberia to the United States via Canada is not satisfactory on account of its great length. We prefer to have a shorter route between the Kuriles and Seattle by way of the Aleutians as an intermediate point.
August 30, 1945
On the day of the signing of the instrument of surrender by Japan allow me to congratulate you, the Government of the United States of America and the American people on the great victory over Japan.
I salute the Armed Forces of the United States of America on the occasion of their brilliant victory.
September 2, 1945
Received on September 6, 1945
Please accept this expression of appreciation by the American people and by me of your thoughtful message of congratulations on our Allied victory over Japan.
All the Allies contributed their part to the victory to the extent made possible by their available resources and we may now all of us look forward to a durable peace and a new prosperity in all the peace-loving nations.
Received on September 10, 1945
Thank you for your message dated August 30, receipt of which is acknowledged.
My dear Generalissimo Stalin,
Please accept my thanks for that autographed photograph which has now arrived safely. I appreciate more than I can say the cordiality of the inscription and shall always treasure the picture as a happy reminder of very pleasant associations at Potsdam.
Very sincerely yours,
September 14, 1945
Received on September 22, 1945
I am informed that Mr Molotov is considering withdrawing from the Council of Foreign Ministers in London109 because of difficulty in reaching an agreement as to the participation of France and China in discussions of the Balkan situation.
I urgently request that you communicate with Mr Molotov telling him that because of the bad effect it would have on world peace he should not permit the Council to be broken up.
Sent on September 23, 1945
Your message received.
I have made inquiries of Molotov but so far have not received a reply. After studying the matter I have arrived at the conclusion that if it is a question of France and China taking part in a Balkans settlement, then, in conformity with the exact meaning of the Berlin Conference decision, the two countries should not be invited to attend.
Received on September 23, 1945
Referring to my earlier message. The Secretary of State has fully informed me of the difficulty encountered at the Council of Foreign Ministers.109
I agree that under a strict interpretation of the language of the Potsdam Agreement, France and China have not the right to participate in the consideration of peace treaties unless they are signatories to the surrender terms or unless they are invited under paragraph 3(2) of the Potsdam Agreement which provides that members of the Council other than the signatories may by agreement be invited to participate when matters directly concerning them are under discussion.
It is my recollection that at the conference table at Potsdam it was agreed during the discussion that members not signatory could be present and participate in the discussion but could not vote. It seems the first day that the Council met, it was unanimously agreed that members not signatories could participate in the discussion, but could not vote. If we now change this rule and deny France and China because they are not signatories to the surrender the right even to discuss a matter in which they state they are interested, I fear it will create a bad impression. It will be charged that the three Big Powers are denying other members of the Council an opportunity even to present their views.
Can we not agree to regard the unanimous action of the Council on the opening day as an invitation to France and China to participate under the Potsdam Agreement? This is too small a matter to disrupt the work of the Council and delay progress towards peace and better understanding.
Sent on September 23, 1945
Your second message about the Council of Ministers109 has reached me.
Today I have received V. M. Molotov’s reply, which says that he adheres to the Berlin Conference resolution and considers that that resolution should not be violated. For my part I must stress that at the Berlin Conference we neither resolved nor agreed that members of the Council who had not signed the surrender terms could participate in discussions but not vote.
I think that Molotov’s stand in the sense of strict adherence to the Berlin Conference decision cannot make a bad impression or offend anyone.
My dear Premier Stalin,
One of President Roosevelt’s fondest desires was to have a painting of you, Mr Churchill and himself placed in the Capitol here in Washington as a testimony of the historical importance of the meetings at Tehran and Yalta.
He had discussed the project with Mr Douglas Chandor, an artist, who he felt possessed the peculiar kind of gift for doing this particular painting better than anyone else.
Knowing how desirous President Roosevelt was that such a painting be made as a worthy addition to the historical mementos of this country, I should like to ask if you would be willing to sacrifice some of your valued time to allow Mr Chandor to come to Moscow to do this painting.
I have also written to Mr Churchill asking if he, too, could spare sufficient time to permit Mr Chandor to paint his picture in order to complete this historic work symbolizing the unity of our three nations.
You may be sure that your acquiescence in helping to consummate this cherished desire of President Roosevelt would be greatly appreciated by me.
October 11, 1945
Received on October 24, 1945
Mr Byrnes has reported to me upon his return from London. I was pleased to learn that on a number of subjects the Council of Foreign Ministers109 was in general agreement. I feel that at this first meeting the Ministers have made substantial progress.
I was surprised to learn, however, that not only in private conversations between Mr Molotov and Mr Byrnes but also at the Council table, Mr Molotov suggested that the United States’ policy in regard to the recognition of the Governments of Roumania and Bulgaria appeared to be motivated by an unfriendly attitude toward the Soviet Union.
I cannot believe that your Government seriously believes that American policy is so motivated. Our policy in regard to the recognition of the Provisional Governments of Finland, Poland, Hungary and Austria indicates that we are anxious, and are willing to go far, to concert our policy with that of the Soviet Union. As I endeavored to make clear at the Berlin Conference, our Government is only trying to carry out the policy sponsored by President Roosevelt and accepted by the three Governments at the Yalta Conference.
Mr Byrnes has also reported to me of the procedural difficulties which brought the London Conference to an impasse. It appears that on September 11 the Council invited members not parties to the surrender terms to participate in the discussions of the treaties without vote. The procedure, which at the time of its adoption was not questioned by any member of the Council, was to my mind clearly a proper and permissible procedure under the Berlin Agreement.
Mr Byrnes felt unable to agree to the change in this procedure suggested by Mr Molotov on September 22. He rightly felt that our Government would not humiliate France and China by withdrawing in the midst of the Conference the invitation extended to them to participate in the treaty discussion after they had already participated in sixteen sessions.
In an effort to find a solution acceptable to all members of the Council, Mr Byrnes stated that he would accept a narrowing of the drafting procedure provided it was agreed that the Council would call a peace conference of the principally interested states as authorized by Article 2 (4) (II) of the Berlin Agreement.
I hope that you will find it possible to accept Mr Byrnes’ proposal. I feel that since all of us extended to China and France an invitation to participate in the discussion of these treaties we should work out a procedure which will insure the convocation by the full Council of a peace conference for the consideration of the treaties.
I hope we can reach early agreement on this matter in order that the deputies may proceed under clear instructions as to their procedure with the important work110 that has been referred to them.
Early settlement of disagreement on peace machinery is essential to prevent misunderstanding among the people of both our countries which might make future cooperation more difficult. I am sure that you will agree with me that the common interests of both our countries in the peace are far more important than any possible differences among us.
I am asking Ambassador Harriman, who has been at London and is fully acquainted with my views, to bring this personally to you so that you will have an opportunity to discuss any points about it that are in your mind.
On October 24 Mr Harriman handed me your message. I had two talks with him on matters discussed at the Foreign Ministers’ conference in London.109 In the course of the talks I replied to all the questions which he, on your directions, raised with me.
October 26, 1945
Received on November 2, 1945
As you know, ever since the time when the late President Wilson intimately associated himself with the liberation of Czechoslovakia from Hapsburg rule, my country has followed with deep and sympathetic interest the struggle of the Czechoslovak people for national independence and economic security. We have always admired the diligence displayed by the Czechoslovak state in constructing democratic institutions and in contributing to the peaceful international life in the European family of states.
In the last days of the war, the American army crossed the western frontier of Czechoslovakia in the pursuit of our common enemy and advanced to a line north of Plzen, while the Red Army, fighting valiantly from the East, entered the city of Praha. The armies of the Soviet Union and the United States thus carried out the liberation of Czechoslovakia. Since the close of hostilities, the armed forces of our two countries have remained on Czechoslovak territory in order to assist the Czechoslovak people in the elimination of the remnants of the Nazi forces.
The continued presence of Allied troops, however, is proving to be a great drain on Czechoslovak economic resources and is delaying the normal recovery and rehabilitation of this allied state which remained longer under Nazi domination than any other member of the United Nations.14 I therefore desire to withdraw the American forces from Czechoslovak territory by December 1, 1945. In the absence of a similar intention on the part of the Soviet Government, there will still remain in Czechoslovakia a large number of Red Army soldiers. I should therefore like to propose to you that the Red Army be withdrawn simultaneously with our forces.
Since there is no longer any necessity to protect the Czechoslovak people against any Nazi depredations, and since the presence of our troops undoubtedly constitutes a drain on their economy, I also feel that the American forces should be withdrawn as soon as practicable in order to permit the Czechoslovak people to reap the full benefits of the assistance being given to them by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration59 and by other agencies. By the simultaneous withdrawal of both Soviet and American forces from Czechoslovakia, the American people would be assured that the drain on Czechoslovak resources had ceased.
I hope that you can give consideration to my proposal and that, in withdrawing our forces simultaneously, we can announce to the world our intention of removing an obstacle which delays the recovery of the Czechoslovak state.
I have received your message concerning the withdrawal of U.S. and Soviet troops from Czechoslovakia. I am sorry to say delivery was delayed because of the irregular functioning of the airline between Moscow and Sochi due to weather conditions.
I welcome your proposal for withdrawing the troops in November, all the more as it is in full accord with the Soviet plan for demobilisation and withdrawal of troops. Consequently we may consider that the withdrawal of Soviet and U.S. troops from Czechoslovakia will be completed by December 1.
November 7, 1945
Received on December 9, 1945
In approving Mr Byrnes’ suggestion to Mr Molotov that a meeting of the three Foreign Secretaries be convened before the close of the year, I was not unmindful of the view that no meeting should be held until there was greater assurance of progress toward agreement on outstanding questions. But I felt that at this critical time continued drift and delay would be exceedingly unwise.
I sincerely hope that you will cooperate with me to make the meeting a success and to give renewed assurance of the ability of the Great Powers to work together.
I wish very much to have Mr Byrnes convey to you a personal message from me. I earnestly hope that you will be able to see and talk frankly with him at an early date while he is in Moscow. Please let me know whether this will be possible.
Thank you for your message of December 8, 1945.111
You may rest assured that I, too, should like to cooperate with you so that the forthcoming conference of the three Ministers in Moscow will yield the results desired for the benefit of our common cause.
I shall shortly be in Moscow and am willing to talk with Mr Byrnes in all candour.
December 9, 1945
Received on December 19, 1945
It is natural that approaching our common problems from different starting points we should at the outset encounter some difficulties. But it is becoming increasingly evident that these difficulties are assuming exaggerated proportions in the minds of our respective peoples and are delaying in many ways the progress, which we both desire to expedite, towards peace and reconstruction.
I repeat my assurance to you that it is my earnest wish, and I am sure it is the wish of the people of the United States, that the people of the Soviet Union and the people of the United States should work together to restore and maintain peace. I am sure that the common interest of our two countries in keeping the peace far outweighs any possible differences between us.
Secretary Byrnes and I have sought to go as far as we have felt able to meet your views with reference to the Allied Council for Japan112 and to the Far Eastern Commission,113 and I sincerely hope that your Government will accept the proposals which we have made. If these proposals are accepted I assure you that in carrying them out it is my intention to insist on the fullest possible collaboration with the Soviet Union in the implementation of the Potsdam Declaration and the Surrender Terms for Japan.
Secretary Byrnes and I have also gone far in an effort to meet your views on the future procedure for handling the peace treaties, and the difference between us now on this matter is not great. In view of our willingness to accept your suggestions as to the handling of the preparatory work by the Deputies,110 I hope very much that your Government can accept our proposals regarding the formal peace conference which will, I am sure, help greatly in securing the general acceptance of the work of our Deputies by other countries.
Prompt agreement between us on the procedure for making the European peace settlements and on the machinery to govern Allied relations with Japan will stop the undermining of confidence in the ability of the Great Powers to work together and will give renewed hope to a world longing for peace.
This hope will also be greatly strengthened if your Government will join in the proposals to have a commission created under the United Nations Organization to inquire into and make recommendations for the control of atomic energy in the interest of world peace.
If we can agree on these general points of procedure without further delay, we should be able to start discussions on other matters as to which it is important in our common interest for us to concert our policies.
I hope very much you will see and talk frankly with Secretary Byrnes. He is thoroughly familiar with my purposes and I feel certain that if you had a full and frank talk with him it would be most helpful.114
My dear Mr President,
I was glad to receive your message, transmitted to me by Mr Byrnes, in which you dwell on the highly important subjects that we are now discussing. I agree with you that the peoples of the Soviet Union and the United States should strive to work together in restoring and maintaining peace, and that we should proceed from the fact that the common interests of our two countries far outweigh certain differences between us.
The conference of the Ministers now in session in Moscow has already yielded good results. The steps taken by you and Mr Byrnes with regard to both Japan and the peace treaties have helped in a big way. We may take it that agreement on these important points has been reached115 and that the conference has done work that will play a prominent part in establishing proper mutual understanding between our countries in this period of transition from war to peace.
The subject of atomic energy is still under discussion. I hope that on this matter, too, we shall establish unity of views and that by joint effort a decision will be reached that will be satisfactory to both countries and to the other nations.116
I take it that you have been informed of my first talk with Mr Byrnes. We shall meet for further talks. But even now I feel I can say that on the whole I am optimistic as to the results of the exchange of views now taking place between us on urgent international problems, and this, I hope, will provide further opportunities for coordinating the policies of our countries on other issues.
I take this opportunity to answer the letter which I recently received from you concerning the arrival of the artist Chandor in Moscow. I have been away from Moscow for a long time and regret to say that in the immediate future I should find it hard, in view of my numerous duties, to give any time to Mr Chandor.
I am, of course, ready to send him my portrait if you think that would be suitable in this instance.
December 23, 1945
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