The Minister in Finland (Schoenfeld) to the Secretary of State
[Received 7:19 p.m.]
74. The Prime Minister told me this afternoon that though he had no details as yet he was informed by army headquarters that the 18th Soviet division at Kittala, northeast of Lake Ladoga, had been destroyed and that 168th division which was near the shore of the lake to the southward was completely cut off and its destruction expected. This development would greatly relieve situation in the area.
Meanwhile the Prime Minister said he had information which was still vague that the Soviet Government might be seeking through Sweden to sound out possibility of establishing contact with Finnish Government while German Government was reported to be cooperating also in Sweden by impressing upon the Swedes that the latter must not openly come into opposition to the Russians. The Prime Minister said that of course Finnish Government had never endeavored to persuade Sweden to join in the war and had no intention of doing so now. He seemed to consider these maneuvers which were still undefined and tentative as having potential importance only. He inquired whether I had any information from you along these lines and I answered that I had none though I had seen a press report of conversation recently between yourself and the Soviet Ambassador of which no account had reached me.54
- A probable reference to the conversation between the Secretary of State and the Ambassador of the Soviet Union, Konstantin Alexandrovich Umansky, on February 1. See memorandum of that date by the Secretary, Vol. iii, p. 250.↩