Roosevelt Papers: Telegram

President Roosevelt to Prime Minister Churchill 1


From the President for the Former Naval Person personal and secret No. 230.

[Page 498]

Your No. 224:2

The telegram you received from Moscow is essentially identical with the one sent to me.3

For the sake of the record, I am sending another telegram4 which follows in my next number, as I think we should continue to make every effort for the African meeting and put the responsibility for declining up to our friend.

I think it would be a mistake for our Staff people to discuss in Moscow any major moves planned for this coming summer. From the practical point of view they could not bind your Government or mine, nor could final plans be approved by you or me without careful study with our Staffs at home.

What would you think, therefore, of suggesting that Staff conversations between military officials from U.K., Russia, and America take place in Africa, either in Algiers, Khartoum, or some other suitable place. The results and recommendations of such a meeting would, of course, have to be taken up in all three Capitals before final approval.

  1. Sent to the United States Naval Attaché, London, via Navy channels.
  2. In his telegram 224, December 7, 1942, to Roosevelt, not printed, Churchill transmitted the text of Stalin’s message of December 6, 1942, and added: “Pray look especially at sentence beginning ‘I am waiting’”. Stalin’s message to Churchill, the text of which is printed in Churchill, Hinge of Fate, pp. 665–666, and Stalin’s Correspondence, vol. i, p. 82, explained the Soviet leader’s inability to leave his country to attend a conference.
  3. For text of Stalin’s message of December 5, 1942, to Roosevelt, declining the President’s invitation to attend a conference, see Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. iii, p. 666.
  4. In a message of December 8, 1942, to Stalin, Roosevelt expressed his disappointment at the Soviet leader’s inability to attend the proposed conference in January. As an alternative, Roosevelt suggested that the conference be scheduled for early March. For text of Roosevelt’s message, see Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. iii, p. 675. Stalin replied to Roosevelt on December 14, 1942, and explained it was impossible for him to leave the Soviet Union even at the beginning of March. For text of Stalin’s message, see ibid., p. 675.