Replies to Questions put by Mr. Elliot Roosevelt, in an Interview
December 21, 1946
At an interview with J. V. Stalin in the Kremlin on December 21,
1946 Mr. Elliott Roosevelt put 12 questions. These, together with
Stalin’s answers, were published in the American Magazine “Look” and
then broadcast by Moscow Radio.
1. Question: Do you believe it is possible for a
democracy such as the United States to live peaceably side by side in
this world with a communistic form of government like the Soviet
Union's and with no attempt on the part of either to interfere with the
internal political affairs of the other?
Answer: Yes, of course. This is not only possible. It is wise
and entirely within the bounds of realisation. In the most strenuous
times during the war the differences in government did not prevent our
two nations from joining together and vanquishing our foes. Even more
so is it possible to continue this relationship in time of peace.
2. Question: Do you believe that the success of the
United Nations depends upon agreement as to fundamental policies and
aims between the Soviet Union, Britain and the United States?
Answer: Yes, I think so. In many respects the fate of the United
Nations as an organisation depends upon a state of harmony being
reached by those three powers.
3. Question: Do you believe, Generalissimo Stalin, that
an important step toward world peace would be the attainment of
economic agreement of broader scope for the interchange of manufactured
and raw materials between our two countries?
Answer: Yes, I believe that it would be an important step for
the establishment of world peace. Of course, I agree. The expansion of
world trade would benefit in many respects the development of good
relations between our two countries.
4. Question: Is the Soviet Union in favour of the
immediate creation by the United Nations Security Council of an
international police force composed of all the United Nations, which
would step in immediately wherever armed warfare threatens peace?
Answer: Of course.
5. Question: If you believe that the atomic bomb should
be controlled by the United Nations, should not they, through
inspection, control all research and manufacturing facilities for
armaments of any nature and the peace-time use and development of
(At this point Mr. Elliott Roosevelt parenthetically says: “Stalin
shot back at me a quick question: ‘In general?’ I said, ‘Yes, but,
especially as to agreement an principle by Russia to such a plan.’”)
Answer: Of course. To the principle of equality no exception
should be made in the case of Russia. Russia should be subject to the
same rules of inspection and control as any other nation must.
(At this point Mr. Elliott Roosevelt parenthetically says: “There
was no hesitancy in his answer. And no question of reserving the right
of veto was even mentioned.”)
6. Question: Do you think it would serve a useful purpose
if another Big Three meeting was held for discussion of all
international problems at present threatening peace in the world?
Answer: I think there should not be one meeting, but several; they would serve a useful purpose.
(Here Mr. Elliott Roosevelt parenthetically says: “At this point my
wife asked whether he thought that such meetings would help towards
achieving closer relations at lower levels among officials of the
respective Governments. She also asked whether such a result was
achieved by the wartime conferences. His answer came with a smile in
her direction: ‘There is no doubt of that the wartime meetings and the
results achieved greatly helped co-operation at lower levels.’”)
7. Question: Sir, I know you are a student of many other
political and social problems existing in other countries. And so I
should like to ask whether you feel that the elections in the United
States last November indicate a swing away, on the part of the people,
from belief in the policies of Roosevelt and towards the isolationist
policies of his political adversaries?
Answer: I am not so well acquainted with the internal life of
the people of the United States, but I would think the election
indicated that the present Government was wasting the moral and
political capital created by the late President, and thus it
facilitated the victory of the Republicans.
(At this point Mr. Elliott Roosevelt parenthetically says: “In
answering my next question Generalissimo Stalin became very emphatic.”)
8. Question: To what do you ascribe the lessening of
friendly relations and understanding between our two countries since
the death of Roosevelt?
Answer: I feel that if this question relates to the relations
and understanding between the American and Russian peoples, no
deterioration has taken place, but on the contrary relations have
improved. As to the relations between the two Governments, there have
been misunderstandings. A certain deterioration has taken place, and
then great noise has been raised that their relations would even
deteriorate still further. But I see nothing frightful about this in
the sense of violation of peace or military conflict.
Not a single Great Power, even if its Government is anxious to do so,
could at present raise a large army to fight another Allied Power,
another Great Power, because at present one cannot possibly fight
without one’s people – and the people are unwilling to fight. They are
tired of war.
Moreover, there are no understandable objectives to justify a new war.
One would not know for what he had to fight, and therefore I see
nothing frightful in the fact that some representatives of the United
States Government are talking about deterioration of relations between
In view of all these considerations I think the danger of a new war is unreal.
9. Question: Do you favour a broad exchange of cultural
and scientific information between our two nations? Also, do you favour
exchange of students, artists, scientists and professors?
Answer: of course.
10. Question: Should the United States and the Soviet Union form a common long-term policy of aid to the peoples of the Far East?
Answer: I feel it will be useful if it is possible. In any case
our Government is ready to pursue a common policy with the United
States in Far Eastern questions.
11. Question: If a systcm of loans or credits is arranged
between the United States and the Soviet Union, would such agreements
have lasting benefit to the United States economy?
Answer: A system of such credits is of course mutually advantageous both to the United States and to the Soviet Union
(Here Mr. Elliott Roosevelt parenthetically says: “I then asked the
question that is creating obvious concern in many countries of
12. Question: Does the failure in the American and
British zones of occupied Germany to carry out denazification give
serious cause for alarm to the Soviet Government?
Answer: No, it has not been a cause for serious alarm, but of
course it is unpleasant for the Soviet Union that part of our common
programme is not being put into effect.
(Soviet News, 1947)
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