I am glad to learn from the press that your health is improving. I send you best regards and, more important, wish you speedy and complete recovery.
January 4, 1944
Received on January 23, 1944
With regard to the handing over to Soviet Russia of the Italian shipping asked for by the Soviet Government at the Moscow Conference47 and agreed to with you by us both at Tehran, we have received a memorandum by the Combined Chiefs of Staff24 contained in our immediately following telegram. For the reasons set out in this memorandum, we think it would be dangerous to our triple interests actually to carry out any transfer or to say anything about it to the Italians until their cooperation is no longer of operational importance.
Nevertheless if after full consideration you desire us to proceed, we will make a secret approach to Marshal Badoglio with a view to concluding the necessary arrangements without their becoming generally known to the Italian naval forces. If in this way agreement could be reached, such arrangements with the Italian naval authorities as were necessary could be left to him. These arrangements would have to be on the lines that the Italian ships selected should be sailed to suitable Allied ports where they would be collected by Russian crews, who would sail into Russian northern ports which are the only ones open where any refitting necessary would be undertaken.
We are, however, very conscious of the dangers of the above course for the reasons we have laid before you and we have therefore decided to propose the following alternative, which from the military point of view has many advantages.
The British battleship Royal Sovereign has recently completed refitting in the United States. She is fitted with radar for all types of armament. The United States will make one light cruiser available at approximately the same time.
His Majesty’s Government and the United States Government are willing for their part that these vessels should be taken over at British ports by Soviet crews and sailed to North Russian ports. You could then make such alterations as you find necessary for Arctic conditions.
These vessels would be temporarily transferred on loan to Soviet Russia and would fly the Soviet flag until, without prejudice to military operations, the Italian vessels can be made available.
His Majesty’s Government and the United States Government will each arrange to provide 20,000 tons of merchant shipping to be available as soon as practicable and until the Italian merchant ships can be obtained without prejudice to the projected essential operations “Overlord”53 and “Anvil.”54
This alternative has the advantage that the Soviet Government would
obtain the use of the vessels at a very much earlier date than if they
all had to be refitted and rendered suitable for northern waters. Thus,
if our efforts should take a favourable turn with the Turks, and the
Straits become open, these vessels would be ready to operate in the
Black Sea. We hope you will very carefully consider this alternative,
which we think is in every way superior to the first proposal.
Received on January 23, 1944
Our immediately preceding telegram.
Our Combined Chiefs of Staff24 have made the following positive recommendation with supporting data:
(a) The present time is inopportune for effecting the transfer of captured Italian ships because of pending Allied operations.
(b) To impose the transfer at this time would remove needed Italian resources now employed in current operations and would interfere with their assistance now being given by Italian repair facilities. It might cause scuttling of Italian warships and result in the loss of Italian cooperation, thus jeopardizing “Overlord”53 and “Anvil.”54
(c) At the earliest moment permitted by operations the implementation of the delivery of the Italian vessels may proceed.
The joint messages signed by you, Mr President, and you, Mr Prime Minister, concerning the transfer of Italian vessels to the Soviet Union, arrived on January 23.
I must say that after getting your joint favourable reply to my question in Tehran about transferring Italian ships to the Soviet Union before the end of January 1944, I had considered the matter settled; it never occurred to me that that decision reached and agreed to by the three of us could be revised in any way. All the more so because we agreed at the time that the matter would be fully settled with the Italians during December and January. Now I see that this is not the case and that nothing has been said to the Italians on this score.
However, in order not to delay settlement of this matter, which is so vitally important to our common fight against Germany, the Soviet Union is willing to accept your proposal for the battleship Royal Sovereign and one cruiser being transferred from British ports to the U.S.S.R. and for the Soviet Naval Command using the two ships temporarily, until corresponding Italian ships can be made available to the Soviet Union. In the same way we are ready to accept from the U.S.A. and Britain 20,000 tons of merchant shipping apiece, which we shall likewise use until we are provided with the same amount of Italian shipping. The important thing is that there should no longer be any delay in the matter and that the ships mentioned above be handed over to us before the end of February.
However, there is no mention in your reply of the transfer to the Soviet Union at the end of January of the eight Italian destroyers and four submarines to which you, Mr President, and you, Mr Prime Minister, consented in Tehran. Yet this question of destroyers and submarines is of paramount importance to the Soviet Union, for without them the transfer of one battleship and one cruiser would be pointless. You will agree that cruisers and battleships are powerless unless accompanied by destroyers. As the whole of the Italian Navy is at your disposal, it should not be difficult for you to carry out the Tehran decision for the transfer of eight destroyers and four submarines from that Navy to the Soviet Union. I also agree to accept, instead of Italian destroyers and submarines, as many U.S. or British destroyers and submarines for the Soviet Union. The transfer of the destroyers and submarines should not be delayed it should be effected simultaneously with the transfer of the battleship and cruiser, as agreed by the three of us in Tehran.
January 29, 1944
Received on February 24, 1944
The receipt is acknowledged of your message in regard to the handing over of the Italian shipping to Soviet Russia.
It is our intention to carry out the transfer agreed to at Tehran at the earliest date practicable without hazarding the success of “Anvil”54 and “Overlord,”53 which operations we all agree should be given the first priority in our common effort to defeat Germany at the earliest possible date.
There is no thought of not carrying through the transfers agreed at Tehran. The British battleship and American cruiser can be made available without any delay and an effort will be made at once to make available from the British Navy the eight destroyers. Four submarines will also be provided temporarily by Great Britain. We are convinced that disaffecting Italian Navy at this time would be what you have so aptly termed an unnecessary diversion and that it would adversely affect the prospects of our success in France.
February 7th, 1944
Received on February 11, 1944
I have been following the recent developments in your relations with Poland with the closest attention. I feel that I am fully aware of your views on the subject and am therefore taking this opportunity of communicating with you on the basis of our conversations at Tehran. First of all, let me make it plain that I neither desire nor intend to attempt to suggest much less to advise you in any way as to where the interests of Russia lie in this matter since I realize to the full that the future security of your country is rightly your primary concern. The observations which I am about to make are prompted solely by the larger issues which affect the common goal towards which we are both working.
As you know, the overwhelming majority of our people and Congress welcomed with enthusiasm the broad principles subscribed to at the Moscow47 and Tehran conferences, and I know that you agree with me that it is of the utmost importance that faith in these understandings should not be left in any doubt. I am sure that a solution can be found which would fully protect the interests of Russia and satisfy your desire to see a friendly, independent Poland, and at the same time not adversely affect the cooperation so splendidly established at Moscow and Tehran.
I have given careful consideration to the views of your Government as outlined by Mr Molotov to Mr Harriman on January 18 regarding the impossibility from the Soviet point of view of having any dealings with the Polish Government in Exile in its present form and Mr Molotov’s suggestion that the Polish Government should be reconstituted by the inclusion of Polish elements at present in the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union. I fully appreciate your desire to deal only with a Polish Government in which you can repose confidence and which can be counted upon to establish permanent friendly relations with the Soviet Union, but it is my earnest hope that while this problem remains unsolved nothing should be done to transform this special question into one adversely affecting the larger issues of future international collaboration. While public opinion is forming in support of the principle of international collaboration, it is especially incumbent upon us to avoid any action which might appear to counteract the achievement of our long-range objective.
I am told by Prime Minister Churchill that he is endeavoring to persuade the Polish Prime Minister to make a clean-cut acceptance as a basis for negotiation of the territorial changes which have been proposed by your Government. Is it not possible on that basis to arrive at some answer to the question of the composition of the Polish Government which would leave it to the Polish Prime Minister himself to make such changes in his government as may be necessary without any evidence of pressure or dictation from a foreign country?
It seems to me, as a matter of timing, that the first consideration at this time should be that Polish guerrillas should work with and not against your advancing troops. That is of current importance and as a first step some assurance on the part of all Poles would be of great advantage.
Your message on the Polish question to hand. It goes without saying that a correct solution of this problem is of great importance both to the U.S.S.R. and to our common cause.
There are two major points to be considered: first, the Soviet- Polish frontier and, second, the composition of the Polish Government. The Soviet Government’s point of view is familiar to you from its recently published statements55 and from V. M. Molotov’s letter56 in reply to Mr Hull’s Note, received in Moscow through the Soviet Ambassador, Gromyko, on January 22.
First of all, about the Soviet-Polish frontier. As you know, the Soviet Government has officially declared that it does not consider the 1939 boundary final, and has agreed to the Curzon Line.57 In stating this we have made quite important concessions to the Poles on the frontier question. We had grounds for anticipating an appropriate declaration on the part of the Polish Government. It should have officially declared that the frontier established by the Riga Treaty58 would be revised and that it accepts the Curzon Line as the new frontier line between the U.S.S.R. and Poland. It should have made an official declaration on recognition of the Curzon Line just as the Soviet Government has done. But the Polish Government in London refused to budge, and continued to insist in official statements that the frontier imposed upon us under the Riga Treaty at a difficult moment should be left unchanged. Hence, there is no basis for agreement, for the standpoint of the present Polish Government, as we see, precludes agreement.
In view of this circumstance the question of the composition of the Polish Government has likewise become more acute. It is clear that the Polish Government, in which the main role is played by pro-fascist, imperialist elements hostile to the Soviet Union, such as Sosnkowski, and in which there are hardly any democratic elements, can have no basis in Poland, nor, as experience has shown, can it establish friendly relations with democratic neighbouring countries. Clearly, such a Polish Government is incapable of establishing friendly relations with the Soviet Union and it cannot be anticipated that it will not sow discord among the democratic countries which, on the contrary, would like to strengthen their unity. It follows that a radical improvement in the composition of the Polish Government is an urgent matter.
I had to delay reply, being busy at the front.
February 16, 1944
Received on February 18, 1944
I am glad to inform you, in response to your message of the 29th of January, that the United States vessels listed below are available to the Naval Command of the U.S.S.R. for temporary use until adequate Italian tonnage can be placed at the disposal of the Soviet Union to replace them:
The cruiser Milwaukee scheduled to arrive on March 8 in the United Kingdom at some port not yet designated.
The 10,000-ton merchant ships John Gorrie and Harry Percy now at Liverpool and Glasgow respectively.
I am in receipt of your message of February 18. Thank you for the news.
It does not, however, exhaust the matter as it says nothing about Anglo-American destroyers and submarines in lieu of the Italian ones – eight destroyers and four submarines – as decided at Tehran. I look forward to an early reply on these points mentioned in my message of January 29.
February 21, 1944
Received on February 21, 1944
The recent successes of your armies in the North-west and in the Ukraine have been followed by us with keen interest and deep satisfaction. I send you my best wishes and congratulations.
I have received your message with congratulations on the latest successes of the Soviet forces. Please accept my thanks for your friendly wishes.
February 23, 1944
Received on February 23, 1944
On the occasion of the 26th anniversary of the Red Army I would like to
convey to you as Supreme Commander my sincere congratulations on the
great and momentous victories won by the Armed Forces of the Soviet
Union over the past year. The splendid victories which the Red Army has
achieved under your leadership were an inspiration to all. The heroic
defence of Leningrad was crowned and rewarded with the recent crushing
defeat of the enemy at the gates of that city. As a result of the
victorious offensive of the Red Army millions of Soviet citizens have
been freed from slavery and oppression. These achievements, along with
the cooperation on which agreement was reached at Moscow47 and Tehran, ensure
our eventual victory over the Nazi aggressors.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Received on February 24, 1944
Your message of the twenty-first of February about the loan of British and American ships to the Soviet Navy has been received.
According to my understanding, Great Britain would provide the battleship, the four submarines and the eight destroyers. I have cabled to the Prime Minister about this. When I hear from him, I will let you know.
Received on February 25, 1944
With reference to my message of February 23, 1944, I have received a reply from Prime Minister Churchill and our understanding as expressed to you is now confirmed.
Received on February 25, 1944
A number of important steps have been taken in recent months by the Governments of the United Nations14 toward laying the foundations for post-war cooperative action in the various fields of international economic relations. You will recall that the United Nations Conference on Food and Agriculture held in May 1943, gave rise to an interim commission which is now drafting recommendations to lay before the various Governments for a permanent organization in this field. More recently, the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration59 has been established and is now in operation.
There have been for nearly a year informal technical discussions at the expert level among many of the United Nations on mechanisms for international monetary stabilization; these discussions are preparatory to a possible convocation of a United Nations monetary conference. Similar discussions have been taking place, though on a more restricted scale, with regard to the possibility of establishing mechanisms for facilitating international development investment. Also, to some extent, informal discussions have taken place among some of the United Nations with regard to such questions as commercial policy, commodity policy, and cartels. Discussions are in contemplation on such questions as commercial aviation, oil, and others. A conference of the International Labor Organization will take place in April, in part for the purpose of considering its future activities.
The need for both informal discussions and formal conferences on various economic problems was emphasized in a document presented by the Secretary of State at the Moscow meeting of Foreign Ministers47 entitled “Bases of Our Program for International Economic Cooperation.” It was suggested that “the time has come for the establishment of a commission comprising representatives of the principal United Nations and possibly certain others of the United Nations for the joint planning of the procedures to be followed in these matters.” It is clear to me that there is a manifest need for United Nations machinery for joint planning of the procedures by which consideration should be given to the various fields of international economic cooperation, the subjects which should be discussed, the order of discussion, and the means by which existing and prospective arrangements and activities are to be coordinated.
It is not my purpose at this time and in this connection to raise the broader issues of international organization for the maintenance of peace and security. Preliminary discussions on this subject are currently in contemplation between our three Governments under the terms of the Moscow Protocol.60 What I am raising here is the question of further steps toward the establishment of United Nations machinery for post-war economic collaboration, which was raised at the Moscow meeting by the Secretary of State and was discussed at Tehran by you, Prime Minister Churchill and myself.
I should very much appreciate it if you would give me your views on the suggestion made by the Secretary of State at Moscow, together with any other thoughts as to the best procedure to be followed in this extremely important matter.
Your two messages concerning the Italian vessels reached me, through Mr Harriman, on February 24 and 25. I have also received from you and the Prime Minister the message of February 7,61 transmitted by British Ambassador Kerr on February 24.
My thanks to you and the Prime Minister for the news about the temporary transfer to the Soviet Union of eight destroyers and four submarines, as well as a battleship and 20,000 tons of merchant shipping by Great Britain and a cruiser and 20,000 tons of merchant shipping by the United States. Mr Kerr has expressly warned us that all the destroyers are old ones so that I have misgivings about their combat qualities. It seems to me that the British and U.S. Navies should find no difficulty in assigning, out of the eight destroyers, at least four modern, not old, ones. I still hope that you and the Prime Minister will find it possible to transfer at least four modern destroyers.
As a result of military operations by Germany and Italy we have lost a substantial part of our destroyers. It is, therefore, very important for us to have that loss repaired at least in part.
February 26, 1944
Sent on February 28, 1944
The White House, Washington
Please accept my heartfelt gratitude for your friendly congratulations on the 26th anniversary of the Red Army and the successes achieved by the Armed Forces of the Soviet Union in the struggle against the Hitler invaders.
I am firmly convinced that the day is not far off when the successful
struggle of the Armed Forces of the Soviet Union jointly with the
Armies of the United States and Great Britain will, on the basis of the
agreements reached at Moscow47 and Tehran, result in
the final defeat of our common foe, Hitler Germany.
Received on February 28, 1944
The text of the Prime Minister’s message of February 20 to you on the subject of a tentative settlement of the Polish post-war boundary by an agreement between the Soviet and Polish Governments is known to me.
If accepted, the Prime Minister’s suggestion goes far toward furthering our prospects of an early defeat of Germany and I am pleased to recommend that you give favorable and sympathetic consideration to it.
I think, as I intimated before, that the most realistic problem is to be assured that when you get into Poland your armies will be assisted by the Poles.
Much as I should like to react favourably to Mr Churchill’s message about the Poles – a message you are familiar with – I feel obliged to say that the Polish émigré Government does not want normal relations with the U.S.S.R. Suffice it to say that the Polish émigrés in London not only reject the Curzon Line,57 they also claim Lvov, and Vilna, the Lithuanian capital.
All I can say is that the time is not yet ripe for a solution of the problem of Polish-Soviet relations. For your information I enclose my reply to Mr Churchill on this matter.
March 3, 1944
Received on March 4, 1944
I stated today at a press conference in response to insistent questioning that Italian warships and merchant ships are now being used in our war effort by the Allied Mediterranean Command and that in order to assist the Soviet Navy in their requirements for the war effort Italian ships or substitutions therefore from the American and British tonnage will be allocated to the Soviet Navy.
I am in receipt of your communication on the statement made at the press conference in Washington concerning the transfer of a number of Italian vessels or their equivalent of U.S. and British shipping to the Soviet Union. Thank you.
March 6, 1944
Received on March 9, 1944
Although the Prime Minister instructed Ambassador Clark Kerr to tell you that the destroyers we are lending you were old, this was only for the sake of absolute frankness. In fact they are good, serviceable ships, quite efficient for escort duty.
There are only seven fleet destroyers in the whole Italian Navy, the
rest being older destroyers and torpedo-boats. Moreover, these Italian
destroyers when we do get them, are absolutely unfitted for work in the
North without very lengthy refit. Therefore we thought the eight which
the British Government had found would be an earlier and more
convenient form of help to you. The Prime Minister regrets that he
cannot spare any new destroyers at the present time. He lost two the
week before last, one in the Russian convoy, and for landing at
he has to deploy, for close in-shore work against batteries no fewer
than forty-two destroyers, a large proportion of which may be sunk.
Every single vessel that he has of this class is being used to the
utmost pressure in the common cause. The movement of the Japanese Fleet
to Singapore creates a new situation for us both in the Indian Ocean.
The fighting in Anzio bridgehead and generally throughout the
Mediterranean is at its height. The vast troop convoys are crossing the
Atlantic with the United States Army of Liberation. The Russian convoys
are being run up to the last minute before “Overlord” with very heavy
destroyer escorts. Finally there is “Overlord” itself. The President’s
position is similarly strained but in this case mainly because of the
great scale and activity of the operations in the Pacific. Our joint
intentions to deliver to you the Italian ships agreed on at Moscow47 and Tehran remain
unaltered, and we shall put the position formally to the Italian
Government at the time the latter is broadened and the new Ministers
take over their responsibilities. There is no question of our right to
dispose of the Italian Navy, but only of exercising that right with the
least harm to our common interests. Meanwhile all our specified ships
are being prepared for delivery to you on loan as already agreed.
Your message on post-war economic cooperation to hand. The problems of international economic cooperation, raised in Mr Hull’s Memorandum,62 are undoubtedly of great importance and merit attention. I think it quite timely to set up a United Nations14 staff to study them and to specify ways and means of examining the various aspects of international economic cooperation in keeping with the decisions of the Moscow47 and Tehran conferences.
March 10, 1944
I have received your message on the transfer of eight destroyers to the Soviet Union by the British Government. I am ready to agree that the said destroyers are quite fit for escort service but surely you realise that the Soviet Union also needs destroyers fit for other combat operations. The Allies’ right to dispose of the Italian Navy is absolutely beyond question, of course and this should be made clear to the Italian Government especially as regards the Italian ships which are to be transferred to the Soviet Union.
March 17, 1944
Received on March 18, 1944
I have today despatched by air a personal letter to President Inonu on the subject of chrome, as I am impressed by the importance of Turkish chrome to Germany. I have sent the letter to Ambassador Steinhardt in Ankara for delivery. I feel sure that you will concur, but please let me know if this action should run counter to any steps you are now taking or contemplating so that I can halt delivery of the letter. The text of my letter to President Inonu reads in paraphrase as follows:
“Almost every day in the week there are many matters about which I would like to talk to you and I greatly wish that you and I were not thousands of miles apart.
“At this time I want to write to you about the subject of chrome.
“As you are aware, the Russians by the capture of Nikopol have succeeded in denying an important source of manganese to the Germans. For many purposes Turkish chrome ore can be substituted for manganese, and the denial to the Germans of manganese from Nikopol consequently multiplies the importance of chrome from Turkey to the German war production.
“It is obvious that it has now become a matter of grave concern to the United Nations14 that large supplies of chrome ore continue to move to Germany from Turkey. You can best decide how the Germans can be denied further access to Turkish chrome ore. Knowing of your inventive genius I hope you will find some method to bring this about. I firmly believe that you will recognize this opportunity for a unique contribution to be made by Turkey to what really is the welfare of the world.
“It is needless to tell you how very happy I was in our talks in Cairo and I feel that now you and I can talk to each other as old friends.
“I send you all my good wishes and count on our meeting again in the near future.”
I am sending Mr Churchill a similar telegram.
I have received your message setting forth the draft of your letter to the President of Turkey about Turkish deliveries of chrome to Germany.
The representation you suggest making to the Turks is, I think, most timely, although I must say that I have little hope of positive results.
March 20, 1944
Since Mr Churchill has sent you, as he tells me, a copy of his March 21 message to me on the Polish question, I think it proper to send, for your information, a copy of my reply to his message.
March 23, 1944
I have lately received two messages from you on the Polish question and have read the statement made by Mr Kerr on the question to V. M. Molotov on instructions from you.63 I have not been able to reply earlier as front affairs often keep me away from non-military matters.
I shall now answer point by point.
I was struck by the fact that both your message and particularly Kerr’s statement bristle with threats against the Soviet Union. I should like to call your attention to this circumstance because threats as a method are not only out of place in relations between Allies, but also harmful, for they may lead to opposite results.
The Soviet Union’s efforts to uphold and implement the Curzon Line57 are referred to in one of your messages as a policy of force. This implies that you are now trying to describe the Curzon Line as unlawful and the struggle for it as unjust. I totally disagree with you. I must point out that at Tehran you the President and myself were agreed that the Curzon Line was lawful.
At that time you considered the Soviet Government’s stand on the issue quite correct, and said it would be crazy for representatives of the Polish émigré Government to reject the Curzon Line. But now you maintain something to the contrary.
Does this mean that you no longer recognise what we agreed on in Tehran and are ready to violate the Tehran agreement? I have no doubt that had you persevered in your Tehran stand the conflict with the Polish émigré Government could have been settled. As for me and the Soviet Government, we still adhere to the Tehran standpoint, and we have no intention of going back on it, for we believe implementation of the Curzon Line to be evidence, not of a policy of force, but of a policy of re-establishing the Soviet Union’s legitimate right to those territories, which even Curzon and the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers recognised as non-Polish in 1919.
You say in your message of March 7 that the problem of the Soviet-Polish frontier will have to be put off till the armistice conference is convened. I think there is a misunderstanding here. The Soviet Union is not waging nor does it intend to wage war against Poland. It has no conflict with the Polish people and considers itself an ally of Poland and the Polish people. That is why it is shedding its blood to free Poland from German oppression. It would be strange, therefore, to speak of an armistice between the U.S.S.R. and Poland. But the Soviet Union is in conflict with the Polish émigré Government, which does not represent the interests of the Polish people or express their aspirations. It would be stranger still to identify Poland with the Polish émigré Government in London, a government isolated from Poland. I even find it hard to tell the difference between Poland’s émigré Government and the Yugoslav émigré Government, which is akin to it, or between certain generals of the Polish émigré Government and the Serb General Mihajlović.
In your message of March 21 you tell me of your intention to make a statement in the House of Commons to the effect that all territorial questions must await the armistice or peace conferences of the victorious Powers and that in the meantime you cannot recognise any forcible transferences of territory. As I see it you make the Soviet Union appear as being hostile to Poland, and virtually deny the liberation nature of the war waged by the Soviet Union against German aggression. That is tantamount to attributing to the Soviet Union something which is non-existent, and, thereby, discrediting it. I have no doubt that the peoples of the Soviet Union and world public opinion will evaluate your statement as a gratuitous insult to the Soviet Union.
To be sure you are free to make any statement you like in the House of Commons – that is your business. But should you make a statement of this nature I shall consider that you have committed an unjust and unfriendly act in relation to the Soviet Union.
In your message you express the hope that the break-down over the Polish question will not affect our cooperation in other spheres. As far as I am concerned, I have been, and still am, for cooperation. But I fear that the method of intimidation and defamation, if continued, will not benefit our cooperation.
March 23, 1944
Received on March 23, 1944
Ambassador Harriman has just informed me that the Soviet Union is not planning to participate in the conference of the International Labor Organization starting April 2 in Philadelphia.
I have given considerable thought to the role that the International Labor Organization should play in constantly improving the labor and social standards throughout the world. I am anxious that you should know about this matter.
The International Labor Organization should be, in my opinion, the instrument for the formulation of international policy on matters directly affecting the welfare of labor and for international collaboration in this field. I should like to see it become a body which will serve as an important organ of the United Nations14 for discussing economic and social matters relating to labor and an important agency for consideration of international economic policies which look directly toward improvement in standards of living. It would be unfortunate if both our Governments did not take advantage of the conference in Philadelphia to help develop our common objectives. We could thereby adapt the existing International Labor Organization to the tasks facing the world without loss of time.
The United States Government delegates to the Philadelphia Conference are being instructed by me to propose measures to broaden the activities and functions of the International Labor Organization and raise the question of its future relationship to other international organizations. In view of your interest in these matters and since there is a great range of social and economic problems that are of common interest to both our Governments, I greatly hope that your Government will participate in this conference.
I share your desire for cooperation between our two Governments in studying economic and social problems linked with improving the welfare of labour on an international scale. The Soviet Union cannot, however, send representatives to the International Labour Organisation conference in Philadelphia for the reasons set forth in the letter to Mr Harriman,64 because the Soviet trade unions are opposed to participation in it, and the Soviet Government cannot but take account of the opinion of the trade unions.
It goes without saying that if the International Labour Organisation were to become an agency of the United Nations,14 not of the League of Nations with which the Soviet Union cannot associate itself, Soviet participation would be possible. I hope that this will become feasible and the appropriate steps taken in the near future.
March 25, 1944
Received on March 25, 1944
Dr. Lange and Father Orlemański will, in accordance with your suggestion, be given passports in order to accept your invitation to proceed to the Soviet Union.65 Our transportation facilities, however, are greatly overcrowded at the present time due to military movements, and accordingly transportation from the United States to the Soviet Union will have to be furnished by Soviet facilities. You will realize, I know, that Dr. Lange and Father Orlemański are proceeding as private citizens in their individual capacity and the Government of the United States can assume no responsibility whatsoever for their views or activities. It might be necessary for the United States Government to make this point clear should the trip become the subject of public comment.
I am in receipt of your message advising me that passports have been issued to Dr. Lange and Father Orlemański.65 Although Soviet transport facilities are greatly overtaxed, we shall make transport available for Lange and Orlemański. The Soviet Government regards the Lange and Orlemański visit to the Soviet Union as a visit by two private persons.
March 28, 1944
Received on April 4, 1944
Many thanks for your message of March 25. It is my hope that the International Labor Organization at the coming meeting will make it clear that it no longer is an organ of the League of Nations and that it will affiliate itself with the United Nations.14 I trust, therefore, that the Soviet Union will have representatives at the next conference.
I will keep you informed of what takes place at the meeting in Philadelphia.
Your message about the International Labour Organisation reached me on April 4. Thank you for reply. I believe that implementation of measures for reconstructing the International Labour Organisation will pave the way for future Soviet participation in its work.
April 6, 1944
Pursuant to our talks at Tehran, the general crossing of the sea will take place around “R” date, which Generals Deane and Burrows have recently been directed to give to the Soviet General Staff.66 We shall be acting at our fullest strength.
2. We are launching an offensive on the Italian mainland at maximum strength about mid-May.
3. Since Tehran your armies have been gaining a magnificent series of
victories for the common cause. Even in the month when you thought they
would not be active they have gained these great victories. We send you
our very best wishes and trust that your armies and ours, operating in
unison in accordance with our Tehran agreement, will crush the
April 18th, 1944
Your message of April 18 received.
The Soviet Government is gratified to learn that in accordance with the Tehran agreement the sea crossing will take place at the appointed time, which Generals Deane and Burrows have already imparted to our General Staff,66 and that you will be acting at full strength. I am confident that the planned operation will be a success.
I hope that the operations you are undertaking in Italy will likewise be successful.
As agreed in Tehran, the Red Army will launch a new offensive at the same time so as to give maximum support to the Anglo-American operations.
Please accept my thanks for the good wishes you have expressed on the occasion of the Red Army’s success. I subscribe to your statement that your armies and our own, supporting each other, will defeat the Hitlerites and thus fulfil their historic mission.
April 22, 1944
The White House, Washington
Please accept the sincere condolences of the Soviet Government on the
occasion of the grievous loss suffered by the United States through the
death of Franklin Knox, U.S. Secretary of the Navy.
April 29, 1944
Accept, please, my real appreciation and that of the Government and people of the United States for your kind message on the tragic death of Mr Frank Knox, the Secretary of the Navy.
May 5, 1944
Sent on May 6, 1944
Thank you very much for helping Father Stanislaw Orlemański65 to obtain permission to come to Moscow.
I wish you good health and success.
Received on May 14, 1944
In order to give the maximum strength to the attack across the sea
against Northern France, we have transferred part of our landing craft
from the Mediterranean to England. This, together with the need for
using our Mediterranean land forces in the present Italian battle makes
it impracticable to attack the Mediterranean coast of France
simultaneously with the “Overlord”53 assault. We are
planning to make such an attack later, for which purpose additional
landing craft are being sent to the Mediterranean from the United
States. In order to keep the greatest number of German forces away from
Northern France and the Eastern Front, we are attacking the Germans in
Italy at once on a maximum scale and, at the same time, are maintaining
a threat against the Mediterranean coast of France.
Your joint message received. You can best decide how and in what way to allocate your forces. The important thing, of course, is to ensure complete success for “Overlord.”53 I express confidence also in the success of the offensive launched in Italy.
May 15, 1944
I would appreciate receiving your views on my making a statement to be issued after “D” day67 along the following lines in place of a tripartite statement to be issued by the Soviet, United States, and British Governments:
“A suggestion has been made that the Allied Governments issue a joint statement to the people of Germany and their sympathizers in which emphasis would be placed on the recent landings made on the European continent. I have not agreed with this as it might overemphasize the importance of these landings. What I desire to impress upon the German people and their sympathizers is that their defeat is inevitable. I also wish to emphasize to them that it is unintelligent on their part to continue in the war from now on. They must realize in their hearts that, with their present objectives and their present leaders, it is inevitable that they will be totally defeated.
“From now on, every German life that is lost is an unnecessary loss. It is true, from a cold-blooded point of view, that the Allies will also suffer losses. However, the Allies outnumber so greatly Germany in population and in resources that the Germans on a relative basis will be much harder hit – down to the last family – than the Allies, and mere stubbornness will never help Germany in the long run. It has been made abundantly clear by the Allies that they do not seek the total destruction of the people of Germany. What they seek is the total destruction of the philosophy of those Germans who have stated that they could subjugate the world.
“The Allies desire to attain the long-range goal of human freedom – greater real liberty – political, intellectual, and religious, and a greater justice, economic and social.
“We are being taught by our times that no group of men can ever be sufficiently strong to dominate the entire world. The United States Government and the people of the United States – with almost twice the population of Germany – send word to the German people that this is the time for them to abandon the teachings of evil.
“By far the greater part of the population of the world of nearly two billion people feel the same way. It is only Germany and Japan who stand out against all the rest of humanity.
“In his heart every German knows that this is true. Germany and Japan have made a disastrous and terrible mistake. Germany and Japan must atone reasonably for the wanton destruction of lives and property which they have committed. They must renounce the philosophy which has been imposed upon them – the falsity of this philosophy must be very clear to them now.
“The more quickly the fighting and the slaughter shall terminate, the more rapidly shall arrive a more decent civilization in the entire world.
“The attacks which the American, the British, and the Soviet armies and their associates are now making in the European theater will, we hope, continue with success. However, the people of Germany must realize that these attacks are only a part of many which will increase in volume and number until victory, which is inevitable, is attained.”
Prime Minister Churchill has agreed to follow me with a message along the above lines.
May 23, 1944
My dear Marshal Stalin,
I am sending to you two scrolls for Stalingrad68 and Leningrad69 which cities have won the wholehearted admiration of the American people. The heroism of the citizens of these two cities and the soldiers who so ably defended them has not only been an inspiration to the people of the United States, but has served to bind even more closely the friendship of our two nations. Stalingrad and Leningrad have become synonyms for the fortitude and endurance which has enabled us to resist and will finally enable us to overcome the aggression of our enemies.
I hope that in presenting these scrolls to the two cities you will see fit to convey to their citizens my own personal expressions of friendship and admiration and my hope that our people will continue to develop that close understanding which has marked our common effort.
Very sincerely yours,
Franklin D. Roosevelt
May 25, 194470
Your communication on a statement to the people of Germany has reached me.
In view of the experience of the war against the Germans and the German character I do not think that your suggested statement would have a positive effect, seeing that it is to be synchronised with the beginning of the landing and not with the moment when the Anglo-American landing and the forthcoming offensive of the Soviet armies will have registered notable success.
As to the nature of the statement, we can return to this when circumstances favour publication.
May 26, 1944
With reference to my message of May 23 proposing for consideration a message to be issued by me with the purpose of influencing the German people, I am informed that the suggestion is not approved by the Prime Minister of Great Britain and his Cabinet.
Because the proposed statement is not of essential importance and in view of a definite and positive objection by the British Government, I propose to do nothing in the way of a statement of that nature at the present time.
May 27, 1944
Your message informing me that you have decided not to do anything in the way of a statement to the German people at the present time has reached me.
Thank you for the communication.
May 30, 1944
I have your message of May 26 regarding my proposal to make a statement designed to influence the German people.
The message I sent to you on May 27, which evidently crossed your message in transit, is in agreement with your opinion that at the present time such a statement should not be made.
May 30, 1944
I congratulate you on the taking of Rome – a grand victory for the Allied Anglo-American troops.
The news has caused deep satisfaction in the Soviet Union.
June 5, 1944
Sent on June 7, 1944
I feel it necessary to let you know that on June 6, in reply to a message from Mr Churchill I sent the following personal message about the plan for a Soviet summer offensive.
“Your communication on the successful launching of ‘Overlord has reached me. It is a source of joy to us all and of hope for further successes.
“The summer offensive of the Soviet troops, to be launched in keeping with the agreement reached at the Tehran Conference, will begin in mid-June in one of the vital sectors of the front. The general offensive will develop by stages, through consecutive engagement of the armies in offensive operations. Between late June and the end of July operations will turn into a general offensive of the Soviet troops.
“I shall not fail to keep you posted about the course of the operations.
“June 6, 1944.”
Received on June 8, 1944
I have received your message of congratulation on the fall of Rome and thank you very much for it, also for sending me the copy of your message to Mr Churchill. All of this makes me very happy.
From Northern France the news is that everything is progressing as scheduled.
I send my warm regards to you.
Received on June 19, 1944
Mr Mikolajczyk, the Polish Prime Minister, has, as you know, just completed a brief visit to Washington and for reasons which Ambassador Harriman has already explained to you I considered his visit to be desirable and necessary at this time.
Therefore you are aware that his visit was not connected with any attempt on my part to inject myself into the merits of the differences which exist between the Polish Government in Exile and the Soviet Government. Although we had a frank and beneficial exchange of views on a wide variety of subjects affecting Poland, I can assure you that no specific plan or proposal in any way affecting Polish-Soviet relations was drawn up. I believe, however, that you would be interested in my personal impression of Mr Mikolajczyk and of his attitude toward the problems with which his country is confronted.
Mr Mikolajczyk impressed me as a very sincere and reasonable man whose sole desire is to do what is best for his country. He is fully cognizant that the whole future of Poland depends upon the establishment of genuinely good relations with the Soviet Union and to achieve that end will, in my opinion, make every effort.
The vital necessity for the establishment of the fullest kind of collaboration between the Red Army and the forces of the Polish underground in the common struggle against our enemy is his primary immediate concern. He believes that coordination between your armies and the organized Polish underground is a military factor of the highest importance not only to your armies in the East but also to the main task of finishing off the Nazi beast in his lair by our combined efforts.
It is my impression that the Prime Minister is thinking only of Poland and the Polish people and will not allow any petty considerations to stand in the way of his efforts to reach a solution with you. In fact it is my belief that he would not hesitate to go to Moscow, if he felt that you would welcome such a step on his part, in order to discuss with you personally and frankly the problems affecting your two countries, particularly the urgency of immediate military collaboration. I know you will understand that in making this observation I am in no way attempting to press upon you my personal views in a matter which is of special concern to you and your country. I felt, however, that you were entitled to have a frank account of the impressions I received in talking with Premier Mikolajczyk.
I am in a position to inform you that not later than a week from now the Soviet armies will start the second round of their offensive. It will involve 130 divisions, including armoured ones. I and my colleagues anticipate important success. I hope that it will be a substantial help to the Allied operations in France and Italy.
June 21, 1944
Received on June 23, 1944
Thanks for your message of June 21. Your good action together with our efforts on the Western Front should quickly put the Nazis in a very difficult position.
Thank you for informing me of your meeting with Mr Mikolajczyk.
If we have in view military cooperation between the Red Army and the Polish underground forces fighting the Hitler invaders, that, undoubtedly, is vital to the final defeat of our common enemy. Certainly, the proper solution of the problem of Soviet-Polish relations is of great importance in this respect. You are aware of the Soviet Government’s point of view and of its desire to see Poland strong, independent and democratic, and Soviet-Polish relations good-neighbourly and based on lasting friendship. A vital condition for this, in the view of the Soviet Government, is a reconstruction of the Polish émigré Government that would ensure participation of Polish leaders in Britain, the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R., and more particularly of Polish democratic leaders inside Poland, plus recognition by the Polish Government of the Curzon Line57 as the new frontier between the U.S.S.R. and Poland.
I must say, however, that Mr Mikolajczyk’s Washington statement makes it appear that he has not made a step forward on this point. Hence at the moment I find it hard to express an opinion about a visit to Moscow by Mr Mikolajczyk.
We all greatly appreciate your attention to Soviet-Polish relations and your efforts in this field.
Moscow, June 24, 1944
Your message about the two scrolls for Stalingrad and Leningrad has reached me. They were handed to me by Ambassador Harriman and will be forwarded to their destinations.
Upon receiving the scrolls I made the following statement:
“I accept President Roosevelt’s scrolls as a symbol of the fruitful cooperation between our two countries in the name of the freedom of our nations and of human progress.
“The scrolls will be handed to the representatives of Leningrad and Stalingrad.”
2. Please accept my heartfelt gratitude for your high commendation of the efforts exerted by Stalingrad and Leningrad in the struggle against the German invaders.
June 27, 1944
Please accept my warm congratulations on the liberation of Cherbourg
from the German invaders. I salute the valiant U.S. and British troops
on the occasion of their splendid success.
June 27, 1944
Received on June 28, 1944
The news of your major victory at Vitebsk has made me very happy. I send herewith my congratulations to you personally and to your gallant Army.
I thank you on my own behalf and on behalf of the Red Army for your congratulations on the liberation of Vitebsk by Soviet troops.
June 30, 1944
Received on July 19, 1944
I feel that, as things are moving so fast and so successfully, there should be a meeting in the reasonably near future between you, the Prime Minister and me. Mr Churchill is in hearty accord with this thought.
It would be best for me to have a meeting between the 10th and 15th of September. I am now on a trip in the Far West and must be in Washington for several weeks on my return.
The North of Scotland would be the most central point for me and you. You could come either by ship or by plane and I could go by ship.
I hope you can let me have your thoughts. Security and secrecy can be maintained either on shore or on shipboard.
My dear Marshal,
Just as I was leaving on this trip to the Pacific, I received the very delightful framed photograph of you which I consider excellent. I am particularly happy to have it and very grateful to you.
The speed of the advance of your armies is amazing and I wish much that I could visit you to see how you are able to maintain your communications and supplies to the advancing troops.
We have taken the key island of Saipan after rather heavy losses and are at this moment engaged in the occupation of Guam. At the same time, we have just received news of the difficulties in Germany and especially at Hitler’s headquarters. It is all to the good.
With my very warm regards, I am
Very sincerely yours,
Franklin D. Roosevelt
July 21, 1944
I share your opinion about the desirability of a meeting between you, Mr Churchill and myself.
I must say, however, that now, with the Soviet armies deeply involved in fighting along so vast a front, it is impossible for me to leave the country and withdraw myself for any length of time from direction of front affairs. My colleagues consider it absolutely impossible.
July 22, 1944
I am sending you for your information the text of my message to the Prime Minister, Mr Churchill, on the Polish question.
July 23, 1944
Your message of July 20 received. I am now writing to you on the Polish question only.
Events on our front are going forward at a very rapid pace. Lublin, one of Poland’s major towns, was taken today by our troops, who continue their advance.
In this situation we find ourselves confronted with the practical problem of administration on Polish territory. We do not want to, nor shall we, set up our own administration on Polish soil, for we do not wish to interfere in Poland’s internal affairs. That is for the Poles themselves to do. We have, therefore, seen fit to get in touch with the Polish Committee of National Liberation, recently set up by the National Council of Poland, which was formed in Warsaw at the end of last year, and consisting of representatives of democratic parties and groups, as you must have been informed by your Ambassador in Moscow. The Polish Committee of National Liberation intends to set up an administration on Polish territory, and I hope this will be done. We have not found in Poland other forces capable of establishing a Polish administration. The so-called underground organisations, led by the Polish Government in London, have turned out to be ephemeral and lacking influence. As to the Polish Committee, I cannot consider it a Polish Government, but it may be that later on it will constitute the core of a Provisional Polish Government made up of democratic forces.
As for Mikolajczyk, I shall certainly not refuse to see him.
It would be better, however, if he were to approach the Polish National Committee, who are favourably disposed towards him.
July 23, 1944
Received on July 28, 1944
Your telegram about the Polish situation has reached me and the Prime Minister71 tells me that Mikolajczyk is leaving for Moscow to call on you.
Needless to say I greatly hope you can work out with him this whole matter to the best advantage of our common effort.
Received on July 28, 1944
In view of the rapid military progress now being made, I can fully understand the difficulty of your coming to a conference with the Prime Minister71 and me, but I hope you can keep very much in mind such a conference and that we can meet as early as possible. We are approaching the time for further strategical decisions and such a meeting would help me domestically.
I have received your messages of July 28.
I share your opinion concerning the importance of a meeting, but circumstances connected with the operations on our front, of which I apprised you last time, prevent me, unfortunately, from reckoning on the possibility of a meeting in the immediate future.
As regards the Polish question, the matter hinges primarily on the Poles themselves and on the ability of members of the Polish émigré Government to cooperate with the Committee of National Liberation which is already functioning in Poland and to which the democratic forces of Poland are rallying more and more. For my part I am ready to render all Poles whatever assistance I can.
August 2, 1944
I should like to inform you of my meeting with Mikolajczyk, Grabski and Romer. My talk with Mikolajczyk convinced me that he has inadequate information about the situation in Poland. At the same time I had the impression that Mikolajczyk is not against ways being found to unite the Poles.
As I do not think it proper to impose any decision on the Poles, I suggested to Mikolajczyk that he and his colleagues should meet and discuss their problems with representatives of the Polish Committee of National Liberation, first and foremost the matter of early unification of all democratic forces on liberated Polish soil. Meetings have already taken place. I have been informed of them by both parties. The National Committee delegation suggested the 1921 Constitution as a basis for the Polish Government and expressed readiness if the Mikolajczyk group acceded to the proposal, to give it four portfolios, including that of Prime Minister for Mikolajczyk. Mikolajczyk, however, could not see his way to accept. I regret to say the meetings have not yet yielded the desired results. Still, they were useful because they provided Mikolajczyk and Morawski as well as Bierut, who had just arrived from Warsaw, with the opportunity for an exchange of views and particularly for informing each other that both the Polish National Committee and Mikolajczyk are anxious to cooperate and to seek practical opportunities in that direction. That can be considered as the first stage in the relations between the Polish Committee and Mikolajczyk and his colleagues. Let us hope that things will improve.
I understand the Polish Committee of National Liberation in Lublin has decided to invite Professor Lange to join it and take charge of foreign affairs. If Lange, a well-known Polish democratic leader, were enabled to go to Poland72 in order to assume that office it would undoubtedly promote Polish unity and the struggle against our common enemy. I hope you share this view and will for your part not withhold your support in this matter, which is so very important to the Allied cause.
August 9, 1944
Received on August 12, 1944
I have received your telegram of August 9 and am most grateful for the resume you have been good enough to give me of Prime Minister Mikolajczyk’s conversations with you and the Polish Committee in Moscow.
It is as you know my earnest hope that there will emerge from these conversations some solution satisfactory to all concerned and which will permit an interim legal and truly representative Polish Government to be formed.
I am sure you recognize the difficulty of this Government taking official action at this stage in regard to Lange. He as a private citizen has of course every right under law to do what he sees fit, including the renunciation of his American citizenship.
I am sure you will understand why, under the circumstances and particularly pending the outcome of the conversations between Premier Mikolajczyk, whose government we still officially recognize, and the Polish Committee, the Government of the United States does not want to become involved in the request of the Polish Committee that Professor Lange join it as head of the section on Foreign Affairs, nor to express any opinion concerning this request.
We are thinking of world opinion if anti-Nazis in Warsaw are in effect
abandoned. We believe that all three of us should do the utmost to save
as many of the patriots there as possible. We hope that you will drop
immediate supplies and munitions to the patriot Poles of Warsaw, or
will you agree to help our planes in doing it very quickly? We hope you
will approve. The time element is of extreme importance.
August 20, 1944
Received on August 20, 1944
I have just seen our Commanders in the Pacific theater. Though I am highly pleased with the progress that is being made, I am greatly impressed with the magnitude of the task. Your agreement to inaugurate promptly planning for future joint cooperation between our respective forces has been reported to me by Harriman. I have been told by General Deane of the proposals which he submitted to the Red Army General Staff concerning Soviet-American collaboration. I hope that you will instruct your Staff to pursue expeditiously with the United States Military Mission in Moscow the joint preparation of plans. The United States Joint Chiefs of Staff have authorized the Military Mission to represent them in this planning in preparation for the time when you are ready to act. I feel that there is nothing we could do at the present time in preparing to bring the Pacific war to a speedy conclusion that would be of more assistance.
I have received your message on Pacific affairs and I appreciate the importance you attach to them. We, too, attach considerable importance to your success there. At the same time I feel sure that you are well aware of the effort exerted by our forces in order to ensure success of the struggle that has now been joined in Europe. This gives us reason to hope that the day is not far off when we shall succeed in fulfilling our urgent task and be able to turn to other matters. It is my wish that General Deane will even now cooperate fruitfully with our Staff.
August 22, 1944
The message from you and Mr Churchill about Warsaw has reached me. I should like to state my views.
Sooner or later the truth about the handful of power-seeking criminals who launched the Warsaw adventure will out. Those elements, playing on the credulity of the inhabitants of Warsaw, exposed practically unarmed people to German guns, armour and aircraft. The result is a situation in which every day is used, not by the Poles for freeing Warsaw, but by the Hitlerites, who are cruelly exterminating the civilian population.
From the military point of view the situation, which keeps German attention riveted to Warsaw, is highly unfavourable both to the Red Army and to the Poles. Nevertheless, the Soviet troops, who of late have had to face renewed German counterattacks, are doing all they can to repulse the Hitlerite sallies and go over to a new large-scale offensive near Warsaw. I can assure you that the Red Army will stint no effort to crush the Germans at Warsaw and liberate it for the Poles. That will be the best, really effective, help to the anti-Nazi Poles.
August 22, 1944
Received on September 1, 1944
The reference made by your Delegation at Dumbarton Oaks73 that the Soviet Government might desire to have the sixteen Constituent Republics considered for individual membership in the new International Organization gives me much concern. Even though your Delegation made it clear that this subject would not be raised again during this present stage of the conversations, I feel I must tell you that the whole project, certainly as far as the United States is concerned and undoubtedly other important countries as well, would very definitely be imperiled if this question is raised at any stage before the final establishment and entry into its functions of the International Organization. I hope you will find it possible to reassure me with regard to this.
Deferring this question now would not prejudice later discussion once the Assembly has come into being. The Assembly would have full authority to act at that time.
I have received your message about participation of the Soviet Union Republics in the International Security Organisation.
I attach the utmost importance to the statement made by the Soviet Delegation on the subject. Since the constitutional changes in our country early this year the Governments of the Union Republics have been taking very careful note of the friendly countries’ reaction to the extension of their rights in international relations, set down in the Soviet Constitution. You know, of course, that the Ukraine and Byelorussia, for instance, which are members of the Soviet Union, surpass some countries in population and political importance, countries which we all agree should be among the founders of the International Organisation. I hope, therefore, to have an opportunity of explaining to you the political importance of the question raised by the Soviet Delegation at Dumbarton Oaks.73
September 7, 1944
Received on September 9, 1944
I have had an interesting and pleasant talk with your Ambassador on the progress of the talks at Dumbarton Oaks.73 One issue of importance only apparently remains on which we have not yet reached agreement. This is the question of voting in the Council. We and the British both feel strongly that in the decisions of the Council parties to a dispute should not vote even if one of the parties is a permanent member of the Council, whereas I gather from your Ambassador that your Government holds a contrary view.
Traditionally since the founding of the United States parties to a dispute have never voted on their own case. I know that public opinion in the United States would never understand or support a plan of international organization which violated this principle. I know, furthermore, that many nations of the world hold this same view and I am fully convinced that the smaller nations would find it difficult to accept an international organization in which the Great Powers insisted upon the right to vote in the Council in disputes involving themselves. They would most certainly see in this an attempt on the part of the Great Powers to set themselves up above the law. I would have real trouble with the Senate.
I hope for these reasons that you will find it possible to instruct your Delegation to agree to our suggestion on voting. The talks at Dumbarton Oaks can be speedily concluded with complete and outstanding success if this can be done.
I am in receipt of your message on the Dumbarton Oaks discussions.
It is my wish, too, that those important discussions be brought to a successful close. This may play a prominent part in furthering cooperation between our countries and promoting future peace and security as a whole.
The voting procedure in the Council will, I feel, be of appreciable importance to the success of the International Security Organisation because it is essential that the Council should base its work on the principle of agreement and unanimity between the four leading Powers on all matters, including those that directly concern one of these Powers. The original American proposal for establishing a special voting procedure in the event of a dispute directly involving one or several members of the Council who have the status of permanent members is, I think, sound. Otherwise the agreement we reached at the Tehran Conference, where we were guided by the desire to ensure above all the four-Power unity of action so vital to preventing future aggression, will be reduced to nought.
This unity implies, naturally, that there must be no suspicions among the Powers. As to the Soviet Union, it cannot very well ignore the existence of certain absurd prejudices which often hamper a genuinely objective attitude to the U.S.S.R. Furthermore, other countries should likewise weigh the likely consequences of lack of unity among the leading Powers.
I hope you will appreciate the importance of these considerations and that we shall arrive at an agreed decision on this matter.
September 14, 1944
We have arrived at the following decisions as to military operations in our conference at Quebec just concluded:
North-west Europe – Our intention is to press on with all speed to destroy the German armed forces and penetrate into the heart of Germany. The best opportunity to defeat the enemy in the West lies in striking at the Ruhr and the Saar since the enemy will concentrate there the remainder of his available forces in the defense of these essential areas. The northern line of approach clearly has advantages over the southern and it is essential that before bad weather sets in we should open up the northern ports, particularly Rotterdam and Antwerp. It is on the left, therefore, that our main effort will be exerted.
2. Italy – Our present operations in Italy will result in either: (A) The forces of Kesselring will be routed, in which event it should be possible to undertake a rapid regrouping and a pursuit toward the Ljubljana Gap; or (B) Kesselring will succeed in effecting an orderly retreat, in which event we may have to be content this year with the clearing of the plains of Lombardy.
The progress of the battle will determine our future action Plans are being prepared for an amphibious operation to be carried out if the situation so demands on the Istrian Peninsula.
3. The Balkans – We will continue operations of our air forces and commando type operations.
4. Japan – With the ultimate objective of invading the Japanese homeland we have agreed on further operations to intensify in all theaters the offensive against the Japanese.
5. Plans were agreed upon for the prompt transfer of power after the collapse of Germany to the Pacific theater.
September 19, 1944
I have received the message from you and Mr Churchill about the Quebec Conference, informing me of your future military plans. Your communication shows the important tasks ahead of the U.S. and British armed forces. Allow me to wish you and your armies every success.
At present Soviet troops are mopping up the Baltic group of German forces which threatens our right flank. Without wiping out this group we shall not be able to thrust deep into Eastern Germany. Besides, our forces have two immediate aims – to knock Hungary out of the war and to probe the German defences on the Eastern Front and, if the situation proves favourable, pierce them.
September 29, 1944
Received on October 5, 1944
Although it had been my hope that the next meeting could have been between you, Churchill, and myself, I appreciate that the Prime Minister wished to have a conference with you at an early date.
I am sure you understand that in this global war there is literally no question, military or political, in which the United States is not interested. I am firmly convinced that the three of us, and only the three of us, can find the solution of the questions still unresolved. In this sense, while appreciating Mr Churchill’s desire for the meeting, I prefer to regard your forthcoming talks with the Prime Minister as preliminary to a meeting of the three of us which can take place any time after the elections here as far as I am concerned.
I am suggesting, under the circumstances, if you and the Prime Minister approve, that my Ambassador in Moscow be present at your coming conference as an observer for me. Mr Harriman naturally would not be in position to commit this Government in respect to the important matters which very naturally will be discussed by you and Mr Churchill.
By this time you will have received from General Deane the statement of the position of our Combined Chiefs of Staff24 regarding the war against Japan, and I want to reiterate to you how completely I accept the assurances on this point that you have given us. Our three countries are waging a successful war against Germany and surely we can join together with no less success in crushing a nation which is, I am sure, as great an enemy of Russia as of us.
I was somewhat puzzled by your message of October 5. I had imagined that Mr Churchill was coming to Moscow in keeping with an agreement reached with you at Quebec. It appears, however, that my supposition is at variance with reality.
I do not know what points Mr Churchill and Mr Eden want to discuss in Moscow. Neither of them has said anything to me so far. In a message, Mr Churchill expressed the wish to come to Moscow if it was all right with me. I agreed, of course. That is how matters stand with the Churchill visit to Moscow.
I shall keep you informed, according as I clear up things with Mr Churchill.
October 8, 1944
In an informal discussion we have taken a preliminary view of the situation as it affects us and have planned out the course of our meetings, social and others. We have invited Messrs Mikolajczyk, Romer and Grabski to come at once for further conversations with us and with the Polish National Committee. We have agreed not to refer in our discussions to the Dumbarton Oaks issues,73 and that these shall be taken up when we three can meet together. We have to consider the best way of reaching an agreed policy about the Balkan countries, including Hungary and Turkey. We have arranged for Mr Harriman to sit in as an observer at all the meetings, where business of importance is to be transacted, and for General Deane to be present whenever military topics are raised. We have arranged for technical contacts between our high officers and General Deane on military aspects, and for any meetings which may be necessary later in our presence and that of the two Foreign Secretaries together with Mr Harriman. We shall keep you fully informed ourselves about the progress we make.
2. We take this occasion to send you our heartiest good wishes and to
offer our congratulations on the prowess of the United States forces
and upon the conduct of the war in the West by General Eisenhower.
October 10, 1944
Received on October 12, 1944
Thanks for your joint message of October 10 Number 794.74 I am most pleased to
know that you are reaching a meeting of your two minds as to
international policies in which, because of our present and future
common efforts to prevent international wars, we are all interested.
During the stay of Mr Churchill and Mr Eden in Moscow we exchanged views on a number of issues of common interest. Ambassador Harriman will assuredly have informed you of all the important talks. I also know that the Prime Minister intended sending you his appraisal of the talks. For my part I can say that they were very useful in acquainting us with each other’s views on such matters as the future of Germany, the Polish question, policy on the Balkans and major problems of future military policies. The talks made it plain that we can without undue difficulty coordinate our policies on all important issues and that even if we cannot ensure immediate solution of this or that problem, such as the Polish question, we have, nevertheless, more favourable prospects in this respect as well. I hope that the Moscow talks will be useful also in other respects, that when we three meet we shall be able to take specific decisions on all the pressing matters of common interest to us.
2. Ambassador Gromyko has informed me of his recent talk with Mr Hopkins, who told him that you could arrive at the Black Sea late in November and meet with me on the Soviet Black Sea coast. I should very much welcome your doing so. My talk with the Prime Minister convinced me that he shares the idea. In other words, the three of us could meet late in November to examine the questions that have piled up since Tehran. I shall be glad to hear from you about this.
October 19, 1944
Received on October 21, 1944
We have been giving active consideration to the diplomatic recognition of the existing French authorities as the Provisional Government of France. These authorities have been made more representative of the French people by the recent enlargement of the consultative assembly. It is expected that the French, with the agreement of General Eisenhower, will set up in the very near future a real zone of the interior which will be under French administration and that when this is done it would be an appropriate time to recognize French authorities as the Provisional Government of France. I am informing you of our intentions in this regard in advance in the event that you may wish, when the zone of the interior is set up under French administration, to take some similar action.
I have received your message of October 21 concerning your intention to recognise the existing French authorities as the Provisional Government of France and to establish a zone of the interior under French administration. The British Government, too, has notified the Soviet Government of its desire to recognise the Provisional Government of France. As regards the Soviet Union, it welcomes the decision to recognise the French Provisional Government and has already given proper instructions to its representative in Paris.
October 22, 1944
Received on October 25, 1944
I am delighted to learn from reports made by Ambassador Harriman and from your message of October 19 of the success attained by you and the Prime Minister in approaching agreement on a number of questions of high interest to all of us in our common desire to secure and maintain a durable and satisfactory peace. I am sure that the progress made during your conversations in Moscow will facilitate and expedite our work in the next meeting when we three should come to a full agreement on our future activities, policies, and mutual interests.
All of us must investigate the practicability of various places where our November meeting can be held, i.e., from the standpoint of living accommodations, security, accessibility, and so forth. I would appreciate receiving your suggestions.
I have been considering the practicability of Cyprus, Athens, or Malta in the event that my entering the Black Sea on a ship should be too difficult or impracticable. I prefer travelling and living on a ship. We know that security and living conditions in Cyprus and Malta are satisfactory.
I am looking forward to seeing you again with much pleasure.
I would be pleased to have your advice and suggestions.
Your message of October 25 to hand.
If a meeting on the Soviet Black Sea coast, as suggested by you earlier, is all right with you, I should think it highly desirable to carry out that plan. Conditions are quite favourable for a meeting there. I hope the safe entry of your ship into the Black Sea will also be possible by that time. My doctors advise for the time being against long journeys so I must take their view into account.
I shall be glad to see you if you find it possible to make the voyage.
October 29, 1944
Sent on November 9, 1944
I congratulate you on your re-election. I am confident that under your
tried and tested leadership the American people will, jointly with the
peoples of the Soviet Union, Great Britain and the other democratic
countries, round off the struggle against the common foe and ensure
victory in the name of liberating mankind from Nazi tyranny.
Received on November 11, 1944
I am very pleased to have your message of congratulations and happy that you and I can continue together with our Allies to destroy the Nazi tyrants and establish a long period of peace in which all of our peoples freed from the burdens of war may reach a higher order of development and culture each in accordance with its own desires.
Received on November 19, 1944
We are all three of us of one mind that we should meet very soon, but problems chiefly geographic do not make this easy at this moment. Under difficulties, I can arrange to go somewhere now in order to get back here by Christmas, but frankly it would be far more convenient if I could postpone it until after my inauguration on the 20th of January.
My naval authorities strongly recommend against the Black Sea. They do not want to risk a capital ship through the Dardanelles or the Aegean as this would involve a very large escort which is much needed elsewhere. Churchill has suggested Alexandria or Jerusalem and there is a possibility of Athens, though this is not yet sure.
In addition to this, I have at the present time a great hesitation in leaving here while my old Congress is in its final days, with the probability of its not final adjourning until the 15th of December. Furthermore I am required by the Constitution to be here in order to send the annual message to the new Congress which meets here early in January.
My suggestion is that we should all meet about the 28th or 30th of January and I should hope that by that time it will be possible for you to travel by rail to some Adriatic port and that we should meet you there or that you could come across in a few hours on one of our ships to Bari and then motor to Rome, or that you should take the same ship a little further in and that we should all meet at some place like Taormina, in Eastern Sicily, which at that time should provide a fairly good climate.
Almost any spot in the Mediterranean is accessible to me so that I can be within easy distance of Washington by air in order that I may carry out action on legislation – a subject you are familiar with. It must be possible for me to get bills or resolutions sent from here and returned within ten days. I hope that your January military operations will not prevent you from coming at that time and I do not think that we should put off the meeting longer that to the end of January or early February.
If, of course, in the meantime the Nazi army or people should disintegrate quickly, we should have to meet earlier, although I should much prefer that the meeting take place at the end of January.
Another suggestion is that the place of meeting should be one on the Riviera but this would be dependent on withdrawal of the German troops from the north-western part of Italy. I wish you would let me know your thoughts on this.
There are many things I hope to talk over with you. You and I understand each other’s problems and, as you know, I like to keep these discussions informal, and I have no reason for formal agenda.
General Hurley, my Ambassador in China, is doing his best to iron out problems between the forces in Northern China and the Generalissimo.49 He is making some progress but so far nothing has been signed.
I send you my warmest regards.
It is too bad that your naval authorities question the advisability of your original idea that the three of us should meet on the Soviet Black Sea coast. There is no objection, as far as I am concerned, to the time of meeting suggested by you – late January or early February; I expect, however, that we shall be able to select one of the Soviet sea ports. I still have to pay heed to my doctors’ warning of the risk involved in long journeys.
Even so I hope that we shall be able to reach final agreement – a little later if not now – on a place acceptable to all of us.
November 23, 1944
The indications are that de Gaulle and his friends, who have arrived in the Soviet Union, will raise two questions.
1. Concluding a Franco-Soviet pact of mutual aid similar to the Anglo-Soviet pact.
We shall find it hard to object. But I should like to know what you think. What do you advise.
2. De Gaulle will probably suggest revising the eastern frontier of France and shifting it to the left bank of the Rhine. There is talk, too, about a plan for forming a Rhine-Westphalian region under international control.75 Possibly French participation in the control is likewise envisaged. In other words, the French proposal for shifting the frontier line to the Rhine will compete with the plan for a Rhineland region under international control.
I would like your advice on this matter as well.
I have sent a similar message to Mr Churchill.
December 2, 1944
The meeting with General de Gaulle provided the opportunity for a friendly exchange of views on Franco-Soviet relations. In the course of the talks General de Gaulle, as I had anticipated, brought up two major issues – the French frontier on the Rhine and a Franco-Soviet mutual aid pact patterned on the Anglo-Soviet Treaty.
As to the French frontier on the Rhine, I said, in effect, that the matter could not be settled without the knowledge and consent of our chief Allies, whose forces are waging a liberation struggle against the Germans on French soil. I stressed the difficulty of the problem.
Concerning the proposal for a Franco-Soviet mutual aid pact I pointed to the need for a thorough study of the matter and for clearing up the legal aspects, in particular the question of who in France in the present circumstances is to ratify such a pact. This means the French will have to offer a number of elucidations, which I have yet to receive from them.
I shall be obliged for a reply to this message and for your comments on these points.
I have sent a similar message to Mr Churchill.
December 3, 1944
Received on December 7, 1944
Many thanks for your two informative messages of December 2nd and 3rd.
With reference to a proposed Franco-Soviet pact along the lines of the Anglo-Soviet pact of mutual assistance, this Government would have no objection in principle if you and General de Gaulle considered such a pact in the interests of both your countries and European security generally.
With your replies to General de Gaulle regarding the post-war frontier of France I am in complete agreement. At the present time it appears to me that no advantage to our common war effort would result from an attempt to settle this question now, and that it is preferable that it be settled subsequent to the collapse of Germany.
Thank you for your communication on the subject of France. General de Gaulle and I have arrived at the conclusion that the Franco-Soviet mutual aid pact will benefit both Franco-Soviet relations and European security in general. The pact was signed today.
As to the post-war frontier of France, examination of this question has, as I informed you, been deferred.
December 10, 1944
Received on December 14, 1944
Since the prospects are still unsettled for an early meeting between us and because of my conviction, in which I am confident you concur, that we must move forward as rapidly as possible in the convening of a general conference of the United Nations14 on the subject of an International Organization, I am requesting Ambassador Harriman to deliver this message and to discuss with you on my behalf the important subject of the voting procedure in the Security Council. Before the general conference will be possible, we will of course have to agree upon this and other questions. I am taking this matter up with Prime Minister Churchill as well.
I now feel, after giving this whole subject further consideration, that the substance of the following draft provision should be eminently satisfactory to everyone concerned.
Proposal for Section C of the Chapter on the Security Council:
1. One vote should be allotted to each member of the Security Council.
2. On matters of procedure decisions of the Security Council should be made by an affirmative vote of seven members.
3. On all other matters decisions of the Security Council should be made by an affirmative vote of seven members including the concurring votes of the permanent members; provided that a party to a dispute should abstain from voting in decisions under Chapter VIII, Section A, and under Paragraph One of Chapter VIII, Section C.76
This calls, you will note, for the unanimity of the permanent members in all Council decisions relating to a determination of a threat to peace, as well as to action for the removal of such a threat or for the suppression of aggression or other breaches of the peace. As a practical matter, I can see that this is necessary if action of this kind is to be feasible. I am consequently prepared to accept in this respect the view expressed by your Government in its memorandum presented at the Dumbarton Oaks meetings73 on an International Security Organization. This naturally means that each permanent member would always have a vote in decisions of this character.
The Dumbarton Oaks proposals at the same time provide in Chapter VIII Section A for judicial or other procedures of a recommendatory character which may be employed by the Security Council in promoting voluntary peaceful settlement of disputes. In this respect, also, I am satisfied that if recommendations of the Security Council are concurred in by the permanent members they will carry far greater weight. However, I am also convinced that such procedures will be effective only if the Great Powers exercise moral leadership by demonstrating their fidelity to the principles of justice. I firmly believe, therefore, that by accepting a provision under which all parties to a dispute would abstain from voting with regard to such procedures and thus indicating their willingness not to claim for themselves a special position in this respect, the permanent members would greatly enhance their moral prestige and would strengthen their own position as the principal guardians of the future peace, without jeopardizing in any way their vital interests or impairing the essential principle that the Great Powers must act unanimously in all decisions of the Council which affect such interests. To do this would make much more acceptable to all nations the overall plan, which must necessarily assign a special role to the Great Powers in the enforcement of peace.
Specific provisions for voting procedure on questions of this nature were not contained in either the Soviet or the American memoranda presented at Dumbarton Oaks. Our representatives there were not in a position, of course, to reach a definite agreement on this question. You and I must now find a way of completing the work which they have carried forward on our behalf so well.
Would you, if you are disposed to give favorable consideration to some such approach as I now suggest to the problem of voting in the Council, be willing that there be held as soon as possible a meeting of representatives designated by you, by me, and by Prime Minister Churchill to work out a complete provision on this question and to discuss the arrangements necessary for a prompt convening of a general conference of the United Nations?
Received on December 20, 194477
I believe that, in view of the interest aroused in this country by Prime Minister Churchill’s statement in the House of Commons yesterday and the strong pressure we are under to make known our position in regard to Poland it may be necessary for this Government to issue some statement on the subject in the next few days. If issued, this statement will outline our attitude along the following lines:
(There followed the substance of the statement issued on December 18 by Mr Stettinius, the full text of which is attached.)
As you will note, the proposed statement will, I am sure, contain nothing that is not known to you as the general attitude of this Government and, in so far as it goes, is I believe in general accord with the results of your discussion with Prime Minister Churchill in Moscow in the autumn and I am sure you will welcome it for this reason.
It is my feeling that it is of the highest importance that, until we three can get together and discuss this troublesome question thoroughly there be no action on any side which would render our discussions more difficult.
I have seen indications that the Lublin Committee78 may be intending to give itself the status of a Provisional Government of Poland. I appreciate fully the desirability from your point of view of having a clarification of Polish authority before your armies move further into Poland. However, because of the great political implications which such a step would entail, I very much hope that you would find it possible to refrain from recognizing the Lublin Committee as a Government of Poland before we meet, which I hope will be immediately after my inauguration on January 20. Could you not continue to deal with the Committee in its present form until that date? I know that my views on this point are shared by Prime Minister Churchill.
Issued on December 18, 1944
The United States Government stands unequivocally for a strong, free and independent Polish state with the untrammelled right of the Polish people to order their internal existence as they see fit.
It has been the consistently held policy of the United States Government that questions relating to boundaries should be left in abeyance until the termination of hostilities. As Mr Hull stated in his address of April 9, 1944, “this does not mean that certain questions may not and should not in the meantime be settled by friendly conferences and agreement.” In the case of the future frontiers of Poland, if a mutual agreement is reached by the United Nations14 directly concerned, this Government would have no objection to such an agreement which could make an essential contribution to the prosecution of the war against the common enemy. If as a result of such agreement the Government and people of Poland decide that it would be in the interests of the Polish state to transfer national groups, the United States Government, in cooperation with other governments, will assist Poland, in so far as practicable, in such transfers. The United States Government continues to adhere to its traditional policy of declining to give guarantees for any specific frontiers. The United States Government is working for the establishment of a world security organization through which the United States together with other member states would assume responsibility for the preservation of general security.
It is the announced aim of the United States Government, subject to legislative authority, to assist the countries liberated from the enemy in repairing the devastation of war and thus to bring to their peoples the opportunity to join as full partners in the task of building a more prosperous and secure life for all men and women. This applies to Poland as well as the other United Nations.
The policy of the United States Government regarding Poland outlined above has as its objective the attainment of the announced basic principles of the United States foreign policy.
Received on December 22, 1944
It gives me great pleasure on this anniversary of your Excellency’s
birth to extend to you my sincere congratulations and best wishes.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Received on December 24, 1944
In order that all of us may have information essential to our coordination of effort, I wish to direct General Eisenhower to send a fully qualified officer of his staff to Moscow to discuss with you Eisenhower’s situation on the Western Front and its relation to the Eastern Front. We will maintain complete secrecy.
It is my hope that you will see this officer from General Eisenhower’s staff and arrange to exchange with him information that will be of mutual benefit. The situation in Belgium is not bad but we have arrived at the time to talk of the next phase.
An early reply to this proposal is requested in view of the emergency.
I have received your message about the sending of a competent officer from Gen. Eisenhower’s staff to Moscow.
It goes without saying that I agree to your proposal, and, by the same token, I am ready to meet the officer from Gen. Eisenhower’s staff and to exchange information with him.
December 25, 1944
Sent on December 26, 1944
The White House, Washington
Please accept my thanks for your congratulations and good wishes on the occasion of my birthday.
Your message reached me through Mr Harriman on December 14.
I fully share your opinion that before the general conference of the United Nations14 meets to discuss the founding of an International Organisation it would be advisable for us to reach agreement on the more important problems that found no solution at Dumbarton Oaks,73 primarily on the voting procedure in the Security Council. I feel it necessary to recall that the original American draft stressed the necessity of drawing up special rules with regard to voting procedure in the event of a dispute directly affecting one of several permanent members of the Council. The British draft, too, pointed out that the general procedure of settling disputes between the Great Powers, should disputes arise, might prove unworkable.
In this connection paragraphs 1 and 2 of your proposal do not give rise to any objections and can be accepted, it being understood that paragraph 2 is concerned with questions of procedure mentioned in Chapter VI, Section D.79
As to paragraph 3 of your proposal, I regret to say that I cannot accept it as worded by you. As acknowledged by you, the principle of unanimity of the permanent members is indispensable in all Council decisions determining a threat to peace, as well as in those calling for action to remove the threat or to crush aggression or other breaches of peace. In adopting decisions on these questions there should without doubt be complete agreement among the Powers who are permanent members of the Council and who bear the chief responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security. It goes without saying that any attempt to bar at any stage one or several permanent members of the Council from voting on the questions mentioned above, and this, theoretically speaking, is possible, and it may even be that the majority of the permanent members find themselves excluded from participation in settling an issue – could have dire consequences for the preservation of international security. This runs counter to the principle of agreement and unanimity in the decisions of the four leading Powers and may result in some of the Great Powers being played against others – a development which would be likely to undermine universal security. The small countries are interested in preventing that just as much as the Great Powers, for a split among the Great Powers who have united to safeguard peace and the security of all freedom-loving nations is fraught with the most dangerous consequences to all those states.
That is why I must insist on our former stand as to the voting in the Security Council. As I see it this attitude will ensure four-Power unity for the new International Organisation and help to prevent attempts at playing some of the Great Powers against others, which is vital to their joint struggle against future aggression. Such a situation would, naturally, safeguard the interests of the small nations in maintaining their security and would be in keeping with the interests of universal peace.
I hope that you will fully appreciate the importance of the considerations set forth above in support of the principle of unanimity of the four leading Powers and that we shall arrive at agreed decisions on this point, as well as on certain other points still outstanding. On the basis of an agreed decision our representatives could work out a final draft and discuss the measures necessary for the early convening of a general United Nations conference.
December 26, 1944
Your message on Polish affairs reached me on December 20.
As to Mr Stettinius’ statement of December 18, I should prefer to comment on it when we meet. At any rate events in Poland have already gone far beyond that which is reflected in the said statement.
A number of things that have taken place since Mr Mikolajczyk’s last visit to Moscow, in particular the wireless correspondence with the Mikolajczyk Government, which we found on terrorists arrested in Poland – underground agents of the émigré Government – demonstrate beyond all doubt that Mr Mikolajczyk’s talks with the Polish National Committee served to cover up those elements who, behind Mr Mikolajczyk’s back, had been engaged in terror against Soviet officers and soldiers in Poland. We cannot tolerate a situation in which terrorists, instigated by Polish émigrés, assassinate Red Army soldiers and officers in Poland, wage a criminal struggle against the Soviet forces engaged in liberating Poland and directly aid our enemies, with whom they are virtually in league. The substitution of Arciszewski for Mikolajczyk and the ministerial changes in the émigré Government in general have aggravated the situation and have resulted in a deep rift between Poland and the émigré Government.
Meanwhile the National Committee has made notable progress in consolidating the Polish state and the machinery of state power on Polish soil, in expanding and strengthening the Polish Army, in implementing a number of important government measures, primarily the land reform in favour of the peasants. These developments have resulted in the consolidation of the democratic forces in Poland and in an appreciable increase in the prestige of the National Committee among the Polish people and large sections of the Poles abroad.
As I see it, we must now be interested in supporting the National Committee and all who are willing to cooperate and who are capable of cooperating with it, which is of special moment for the Allies and for fulfilment of our common task – accelerating the defeat of Hitler Germany. For the Soviet Union, which is bearing the whole burden of the struggle for freeing Poland from the German invaders, the problem of relations with Poland is, in present circumstances, a matter of everyday, close and friendly relations with an authority brought into being by the Polish people on their own soil, an authority which has already grown strong and has armed forces of its own, which, together with the Red Army, are fighting the Germans.
I must say frankly that in the event of the Polish Committee of National Liberation becoming a Provisional Polish Government, the Soviet Government will, in view of the- foregoing, have no serious reasons for postponing its recognition. It should be borne in mind that the Soviet Union, more than any other Power, has a stake in strengthening a pro-Ally and democratic Poland, not only because it is bearing the brunt of the struggle for Poland’s liberation, but also because Poland borders on the Soviet Union and because the Polish problem is inseparable from that of the security of the Soviet Union. To this I should add that the Red Army’s success in fighting the Germans in Poland largely depends on a tranquil and reliable rear in Poland, and the Polish National Committee is fully cognizant of this circumstance, whereas the émigré Government and its underground agents by their acts of terror threaten civil war in the rear of the Red Army and counter its successes.
On the other hand, in the conditions now prevailing in Poland there are no grounds for continuing to support the émigré Government, which has completely forfeited the trust of the population inside the country and which, moreover, threatens civil war in the rear of the Red Army, thereby injuring our common interest in the success of the struggle we are waging against the Germans. I think it would be only natural, fair and beneficial to our common cause if the Governments of the Allied Powers agreed as a first step to exchange representatives at this juncture with the National Committee with a view to its later recognition as the lawful government of Poland, after it has proclaimed itself the Provisional Government of Poland. Unless this is done I fear that the Polish people’s trust in the Allied Power may diminish. I think we should not countenance a situation in which Poles can say that we are sacrificing the interests of Poland to those of a handful of émigrés in London.
December 27, 1944
Received on December 31, 1944
I must tell you that I am disturbed and deeply disappointed by your message of December 27 regarding Poland in which you tell me that you cannot see your way clear to hold the question of recognition of the Lublin Committee78 as the Provisional Government in abeyance until we have had an opportunity to discuss thoroughly the whole question at our meeting. I would have thought that no serious inconvenience would have been caused your Government or your Armies if you were to delay the purely juridical act of recognition for the short period of a month remaining until our meeting.
In my request there was no suggestion that you curtail your practical relations with the Lublin Committee nor any thought that you should deal with or accept the London Government in its present composition. I had urged this delay upon you because of my feeling that you would realize how extremely unfortunate and even serious it would be in its effect on world opinion and enemy morale at this time in the war if your Government should formally recognize one Government of Poland while the majority of the other United Nations14 including Great Britain and the United States continue to recognize the Polish Government in London and maintain diplomatic relations with it.
With frankness equal to your own I must tell you that I see no prospect of this Government’s following suit and transferring its recognition from the London Government to the Lublin Committee in its present form. In no sense is this due to any special ties or feelings for the Government in London. The fact is that as yet neither the Government nor the people of the United States have seen any evidence arising either from the manner of its creation or from subsequent developments to justify the conclusion that the Lublin Committee as at present constituted represents the people of Poland. I cannot ignore the fact that only a small fraction of Poland proper west of the Curzon Line57 has yet been liberated from German tyranny, and it is therefore an unquestioned truth that no opportunity to express themselves in regard to the Lublin Committee has been afforded the people of Poland.
If there is established at some future date following the liberation of Poland a Provisional Government of Poland with popular support, the attitude of this Government would of course be governed by the Polish people’s decision.
I share fully your opinion that the situation has been worsened by the departure of Mr Mikolajczyk from the Government in London. I have always felt that Mr Mikolajczyk, who I am convinced is sincerely desirous of settling all points at issue between the Soviet Union and Poland, is the only Polish leader in sight who seems to offer the possibility of a genuine solution of the difficult and dangerous Polish question. From my personal knowledge of Mr Mikolajczyk and my conversations with him when he was here in Washington and his subsequent efforts and policies during his visit at Moscow I find it most difficult to believe that he had knowledge of any instructions for acts of terrorism.
This message is sent to you so that you will know this Government’s position regarding the recognition at the present time of the Lublin Committee as the Provisional Government of Poland. I am more than ever convinced that when the three of us meet we can reach a solution of the Polish problem, and I therefore still hope that you can hold the formal recognition of the Lublin Committee as a Government of Poland in abeyance until then. I cannot see any great objection to a month’s delay from a military angle.
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