661.6231/304: Telegram

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

121. My 4498 of October 29, [1940,] 11 a.m., and 115, Jan[uary] 11, 11 a.m. of today.16 The German press today features the terms of the economic agreement, the exchange of populations agreements and the frontier treaty signed yesterday with the Soviet Union at Moscow, Kaunas, [and] Riga as representing an undisputable confirmation of friendly collaboration between the two countries and a further strengthening of Germany’s war potential. Editorial comment implies clearly that the reaffirmation by these agreements of the permanent character of the German-Soviet boundary and frontier of interests in the northern region is a result of an agreement in principle arrived at during the course of Molotov’s visit to Berlin.17 The Boersen Zeitung after admitting that certain technical problems and difficulties had inevitably arisen, both in the economic cooperation and the reorientation of the political relations, asserts that these problems are now definitely eliminated thus showing clearly to the outside world that Moscow accepts and approves of the principle of the new order in Europe. The same newspaper closes its comment by the declaration that the renewed attempts of enemy propaganda to publicize an imaginary dissension between Germany and Russia are now unmasked as false and inept and that this time it will not be easy for “Churchill18 and his friends across the seas” to deny the continual [Page 123] improvement in German-Soviet relations. Texts of agreement as released by Berlin follow by airmail.

The signing of these agreements at this time after several months of dilatory negotiations is regarded in some circles in Berlin as indicating that Moscow has delayed their formal conclusion pending the consent of Berlin in principle to certain Russian demands in other spheres which are believed to include the Russian program with respect to Finland.

Repeated to Moscow.

  1. Neither printed.
  2. Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov, who was People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union, visited Berlin November 12–14, 1940. See Foreign Relations, 1940, vol. i, pp. 573582, passim.
  3. Winston Spencer Churchill, British Prime Minister.