740.00115 European War 1939/1742

Memorandum by the Acting Chief of the Division of European Affairs ( Atherton ) to the Assistant Secretary of State ( Berle )

Mr. Berle: In due course we shall probably be informed of such major decisions with regard to foreign policy as may have been arrived at during the course of the recent Churchill visit. Until we do know more about what has been decided we do not feel that we are in a position to make recommendations which may be out of line with the decisions reached.

When we learn whether any decisions have been taken with regard to Russia’s territorial pretentions and when we know more about what our attitude is to be with regard to claims on the Baltic, we shall have a better idea as to the advisability of taking up with Litvinov the position of the Baltic peoples at present banished in Siberia and other remote regions of the Soviet Union.16

R[ay] A[therton]
  1. The Department had information that about 10,000 Latvians, mostly from the intelligentsia, were imprisoned in punishment camps in the Komi Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in the northeastern corner of the European part of the Soviet Union, many at the place called Kedrovy Bor, where natural conditions and bad camp arrangements caused uncommon hardship and suffering.