762.9411/33: Telegram

The Chargé in Germany (Kirk) to the Secretary of State



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As regards Russia, the problem32 in its nature is regarded as more obscure. It may be assumed that the event of yesterday had been regarded in the Kremlin as a possibility and, although the actual signature of the pact was unheralded, was known by the Soviets beforehand. Speculation therefore turns in general on whether Stalin has been a passive factor in the negotiations or has himself gained a free hand in parts of the Near East and in India, as has Japan in the Far East, and the Axis Powers in Europe and Africa. In that event the declaration of spheres of domination outside the Western Hemisphere would be complete, and the possibility of cooperative action among the dominating powers which now seems practically impossible insofar as aid to Japan is concerned would be assured. It is only through future developments, however, that this situation may receive clarification and at present there is no indication here that the underlying [Page 565] suspicion which is felt in regard to Soviet Russia has been allayed either in Berlin or Rome, or that Stalin himself has lent himself even ostensibly to a combination which he regards as capable of consolidating the power of his neighbors and of threatening his own.

  1. i. e., the appraisal of the significance of the three power pact of assistance signed by Germany, Italy, and Japan at Berlin on September 27, 1940. For text of the pact, see League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. cciv, p. 386.