760d.61/265: Telegram

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

244. Minister of Foreign Affairs made a statement to me this morning regarding the Moscow conversations of the Finnish delegation. He enjoined absolute secrecy and said his statement was only for your personal information because of his fear that should any knowledge of the details of the negotiations leak out the Soviet Government’s prestige would become involved. He was therefore withholding complete information for the present even from the Scandinavian Governments with the possible exception of Sweden as well as from members of the Finnish Cabinet except an inner group.

His statement was to the effect that the Finnish representatives met yesterday with Russians including Stalin himself and Molotov. The Russians desired control of islands in Gulf of Finland commanding Kronstadt mentioned in previous correspondence and a strip of territory on the mainland near Terijoki. In view of British nickel concession in Petsamo area Russians argued they should be given concession for facilities at Hango on southwest coast. They also desired the whole of Fisher’s Island off Petsamo (Kalastajasaarrento). They made no mention of the Aland Islands. Stalin personally volunteered readiness to make territorial compensation to Finland which I presume refers to the two districts mentioned in my telegram No. 97, June 2, last.

Finnish representatives immediately said Hango proposal could not be discussed and that Finland itself desired the whole of Fisher’s Island through which boundary now runs. Minister of Foreign Affairs thought last mentioned matter and coastal strip in southeast were brought up for bargaining purposes. He felt that for the present matter was one of skill in negotiation and secrecy and he spoke approvingly of coolness, under pressure of the Finnish delegates at Moscow. He emphasized that the foregoing was for you alone and that he did not know how to thank you for your friendly intervention at Moscow,