760d.61/283: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Soviet Union ( Steinhardt ) to the Secretary of State

755. For the Secretary and the Under Secretary. My 734, October 12, 4 p.m. At midnight last night a note was delivered from Molotov enclosing a communication from Kalinin in reply to the President’s message October 12.48 The following is a full translation of Molotov’s covering note:

“October 15, 1939. Mr. Ambassador: I have the honor to forward to you, for transmission to the President of the United States, the enclosed reply49 of the President of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, M. I. Kalinin to the message addressed to him by the President of the United States transmitted by you to me on October 12.

I beg you, Mr. Ambassador, to accept the assurances of my highest consideration. (Signed) V. Molotov, People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs.”

The following is a full translation of the enclosed reply of President Kalinin.

“October 15, 1939. Mr. President: I thank you for your greetings and for the friendly sentiments expressed in your message transmitted to me on October 12th.

I consider it appropriate to remind you, Mr. President, that the state independence of the Finnish Republic was recognized by the free will of the Soviet Government on December 31, 1919 [1917], and that the sovereignty of Finland was guaranteed to it by the Peace Treaty of October 14, 1920, between the Russian Socialist Federated Soviet Republic and Finland. By the above-mentioned acts of the Soviet Government the basic principles of the reciprocal relations between the Soviet Union and Finland were defined. The present negotiations between the Soviet Government and the Government of Finland are also being conducted in conformity with these principles. Despite the tendentious versions which are being disseminated by circles evidently not interested in European peace, the sole aim of the negotiations referred to above is the consolidation of the reciprocal relations between the Soviet Union and Finland and a strengthening of friendly cooperation between both countries in the cause of guaranteeing the security of the Soviet Union and Finland. I beg you, Mr. [Page 976] President, to accept the expression of my deep respect. (Signed) M. Kalinin.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States.”

  1. The President’s message was dated October 11, 1939, and delivered on October 12.
  2. Sent to the President at 1:40 p.m., October 16, 1939.