760N.61/64: Telegram

The Minister in Latvia ( Wiley ) to the Secretary of State

34. My 31, February 11, 7 p.m. High Foreign Office official confirms that Soviet Government is pressing demands upon the three Baltic States. He states he is not aware how far these demands go in respect of Estonia but he does not take them too seriously as far as Latvia is concerned. He believes that the Soviet Union is merely trying to see what the traffic will bear, that no single demand is particularly important, and that the situation should not become dangerous for the present. Latvia and Estonia are united in their decision to resist further Soviet encroachment but he says Lithuania has yielded to the Soviet demands on one point, the admission of families of the Red Army garrisoned in that country. He states that the demand for the admission of wives and children is in violation of a formal assurance given personally by Stalin95 who said “there will be no families.” In conclusion, Foreign Office official stated that there were now very strained relations with the Soviet Minister who was supremely stupid and had been making himself “insupportable”. He confirmed that the President’s “fighting speech” was a warning to Russia, but intimated that the President considered the moment timely to close Latvian ranks in the face of foreign danger, which in the past had been unduly minimized by home propaganda for home consumption.

Finnish successes96 seem to have considerably stiffened Latvian resistance to both the Soviet Union and Germany.

  1. Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin, Secretary General of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks); member of the Politburo and Orgburo of the Party.
  2. For correspondence on relations between Finland and the Soviet Union, see pp. 269 ff.