760d.61/228: Telegram

The Minister in Finland (Schoenfeld) to the Secretary of State

227. British Minister31 has expressed to me his personal opinion that Finnish policy may not be sufficiently flexible in forthcoming negotiations with Soviet Union to warrant confident expectation that they will result in avoiding clash. He made suggestion that our Government might bring its influence to bear on Finnish Government in the sense indicated and I answered that I doubted your willingness to do so, having in mind your telegram No. 114, October 4.32 He then suggested that probably best channel through which to urge flexibility on Finnish Government would be the Swedish Foreign Minister33 because of latter’s long experience in diplomatic technique and special relations between Sweden and Finland.

In view of considerations set forth in my telegrams numbers 21934 and 222, I cannot deny that there is some danger in the situation from the extended time British Minister had in mind but on the other hand it would seem that no action can be taken by a third government on the assumption that Finnish Government may not handle its negotiations with Soviet Government with restraint and skill. It may well turn out that better opening for exercise of moderating influence will exist at Moscow than here.

  1. Thomas Maitland Snow.
  2. Not printed; in this telegram the Department indicated that it was “reluctant for Finland to base any decision, even in part, upon information obtained from our officers, the more so as Finland has its own officials and sources of information in Russia.” (760d.61/216)
  3. Rickard J. Sandler.
  4. Not printed.