711.61/294: Telegram

The Chargé in Latvia (Cole) to the Secretary of State

41. Izvestiya,23 October 21st, in a restrained editorial declares the President’s message welcome to all desiring peace in both countries; many pacifist experiments, including League of Nations, have failed because of “groups of irresponsible adventurers”; in a number of unnamed countries the influence of “aggressive militarist groups” leading to “adventurous predatory plans” is growing.

“The position of the Soviet Union in regard to the questions interesting both countries is well known” which is assurance disputes will reach prompt satisfactory conclusions; the official newspaper wants to believe official contact first step to closer relations in the interest of peace.

This semi-official statement manifestly clear reference to Japan which, however, is not named originally in the final mention of peace. Trade relations opportunely mentioned. Disputes apparently refer to subversive propaganda, debts and claims.

[Page 799]

Pravda, party organ, is triumphant former abnormal relations America’s fault and injured the international standing of the United States and its commerce; Soviet Union is a great country of both Europe and Asia which cannot be ignored without injury to oneself; the President’s new policy should be unhesitatingly consistent; after referring to the Disarmament Conference collapse, party organ continues verbatim “an end has begun to be put to the London and Washington agreements” and “normal relations between the United States and the Soviet Union would create a correlation of forces with which adventurous groups would have to reckon.”

Other newspapers cannot see necessity of negotiating recognition, declare that the United States took the initiative and directly mention American-Japanese rivalry in the Pacific and the Chinese Eastern Railway and that collaboration of the two countries necessary [since?] certain elements in the Far East play with fire.

All emphasize peace element in the President’s message which appears to be their method of interpreting it as an offer of support against Japan.

  1. Official organ of the Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Union.