Relations of the United States with the Soviet Union are of such importance that it has been decided to publish the record for the years 1933 to 1939 inclusive in a separate volume of Foreign Relations of the United States. Such publication serves the double purpose of making the correspondence for that period on this subject available in one place and of presenting the record of the later years to the public much sooner than would be possible if it were held for publication in the regular annual Foreign Relations volumes. The papers on the Soviet Union for 1933 have already been published in Foreign Relations of the United States, 1933, Volume II, but for convenience these papers have been reprinted here to bring together the record beginning with the recognition of the Soviet Government by the United States.
Reports regarding unsuccessful British and French negotiations with the Soviet Union for a mutual defense agreement against German aggression and the signing by the Soviet Government of a nonaggression pact with Germany, as well as the Soviet occupation of eastern Poland in 1939, have been omitted from this volume. It is planned to include such correspondence with other related material in sections dealing with the origin and outbreak of World War II in the regular annual volumes for 1939. Also a number of reports on conflicting interests of the Soviet and Japanese Governments have been left for later publication with other related papers in the annual volumes for the Far East.
A limited number of documents have been included which do not directly concern relations between the United States and the Soviet Union. They are illustrative, however, of significant internal conditions within the Soviet Union or of incidents of outstanding political, economic, or military importance which had influence upon foreign affairs or entered into the consideration of the United States and other countries in the conduct of their relations with the Soviet Union.
In the period covered by this volume relations between the United States and the Soviet Union were largely of a bilateral nature, but with the spread of war in Europe following 1939 the most significant of those relations became intertwined with the conduct of the war and later with plans for peace, involving complicated negotiations of a multilateral nature.[Page IV]
Documentation on the relations of the United States with the Soviet Union for the years from 1918 to 1932 inclusive is published in earlier Foreign Relations volumes. There are three special Foreign Relations of the United States, Russia volumes for 1918 and one for 1919. Sections under the heading “Russia” are printed in the annual volumes for each year from 1920 to 1932 inclusive with the exception of 1929 and 1930. For those two years correspondence regarding the Sino-Soviet conflict over the Chinese Eastern Railway appears in 1929, Volume II, pages 186–435, and 1930, Volume II, pages 298–303. Scattered references to the Soviet Union appear in other sections of the Foreign Relations volumes, especially in those dealing with international conferences.
The present volume is compiled in accordance with the principles which guide the compilation and editing of the Foreign Relations series as stated in Department of State Regulations 045 of May 27, 1949, printed in the preface to Foreign Relations of the United States, 1934, Volume I. The basic research and selection of papers for this volume was done in the Foreign Relations Branch of the Division of Historical Policy Research, under the direction of the Editor of Foreign Relations, by Mr. Rogers Platt Churchill, except for the selections covering the years 1933 and 1934 which were compiled by Mr. John Gilbert Reid. Preparation of the index and list of papers and editing and proofreading of copy were done in the Foreign Relations Editing Branch of the Division of Publications under the direction of Miss Elizabeth A. Vary.
Editor of Foreign Relations