Hopkins Papers

President Roosevelt to the Secretary of State22

The Prime Minister23 showed me the War Cabinet recommendations relative to the draft of a Joint Declaration.24 I have reread the draft and I have these comments to make:

1. I think every effort should be made to get religious freedom into this document. I believe Litvinoff25 can be induced to agree to this.

2. I think the language on page 2, paragraph 1 is difficult for the Russians. Some such language as this might handle it:

“Each government pledges itself to employ its full resources against those Axis forces of conquest with which it is at war. Each government pledges itself to continue such employment until these forces have been finally defeated.”

I have been trying to think of a way to obviate the necessity of two different documents.

3. I believe the list of countries in paragraph 1 should include all of the nations at war, including the South American Republics. It seems to me a distinct advantage to have as long a list of small countries as possible in this Declaration.

4. I believe that China and the U. S. S. R. should be lifted from an alphabetical listing and included as are the United States and the British Empire on the theory that they are fighting in their own countries.

I have a feeling the U. S. S. R. would not be pleased to see their name following some of the countries which are realistically making a minor contribution.

5. I presume it is up to the British to decide whether or not India should be included, but I don’t understand why they don’t include it. Perhaps you could prod them a little.

6. I feel that the Free French should not be included in this document.

I am anxious that the most careful thought be given to the language in this Declaration, which will supplement the Atlantic statement, particularly in reference to the real purposes for which we fight.

As soon as you and Halifax26 have reached a meeting of minds on a Joint Declaration, I think we should have a prompt conference between yourself, Halifax, the Prime Minister and me.

F[ranklin] D. R[oosevelt]
  1. Copy obtained from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, N. Y.
  2. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Correspondence regarding the conference at Washington between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill, with their advisers, December 22, 1941–January 14, 1942, is scheduled for publication in a subsequent volume of Foreign Relations.
  3. Draft of December 19, p. 4.
  4. Maxim Maximovich Litvinov, Soviet Ambassador in the United States.
  5. Viscount Halifax, British Ambassador in the United States.