Churchill arrived at Hyde Park on August 12, 1943 and left for Quebec on the night of August 14. Since Churchill was a guest in the Roosevelts’ home, there took place many informal and unscheduled conversations between him and Roosevelt. It is known that the following subjects were discussed in the course of these conversations:
- The advisability of proceeding immediately to Quebec. See Churchill’s note to Roosevelt, August 13, 1943, ante, p. 412.
- Anti-submarine warfare. See the joint Roosevelt–Churchill announcement on this subject, August 14, 1943, post, p. 833.
- The appointment of an American officer to command
. Since Churchill told Brooke at Quebec on August 15,
1943, before Roosevelt’s arrival at the First Quebec Conference,
that he had approved such an appointment, the decision must have
been taken during the conversations at Hyde Park. See
Alanbrooke, p. 578. Although the name of the officer to be
appointed is not mentioned in Churchill, Closing the Ring, p. 85, Churchill seems to have told
Brooke that Marshall would be named and that Eisenhower,
Alexander, and Montgomery would all be shifted. See Alanbrooke,
p. 578; cf. Sherwood, pp. 758–759. Churchill’s understanding of
his agreement with Roosevelt on this subject is indicated in the
following telegram from Churchill to Hopkins dated September 26,
“There is a lot of talk in the papers about Marshall becoming Supreme Commander in Chief over all the forces in the West. What I understood from our talks was that he would command the operation Overlord . He would not, however, be only a Theatre Commander. He might have the same sort of general outlook with us on the whole war against Germany, in addition to his specific command, as Dill has on the Combined Chiefs of Staff Committee in Washington over the whole field. We should be very glad for him to sit with our Chiefs of Staff frequently, and to have the whole scene laid before him. But I made it clear that our Chiefs of the Staff would more often have to sit together to consider our position from the British point of view, just as your Chiefs of Staff sit together in Washington. It would not fall to him to give decisions outside the sphere of Overlord . The control of all our combined operations and world strategy must rest with the Combined Chiefs of the Staff in Washington under the final direction of the heads of governments. Please let me know whether there is anything wrong with this message,” (Hopkins Papers)
- Recognition of the French Committee of National Liberation. See Pickersgill, p. 543.
- The appointment of C. D. Howe as the Canadian representative on the proposed Combined Policy Committee to deal with atomic energy matters. See ibid.
- A visit by the Churchill family to Hyde Park following the First Quebec Conference. See ibid.
- Relations with Ireland. See post, p. 832. In light of the fact that the American Minister to Ireland (Gray) drafted a proposed message from Roosevelt to de Valera on the subject of Allied bases in Ireland (see ante, p. 618) following his visit to Roosevelt and Churchill at Hyde Park, it is probable that this aspect of Allied relations with Ireland was discussed there.
- A postwar “fraternal relationship” between the United States and the United Kingdom. See post, p. 832.
Although there is no firm evidence that the following subjects were discussed at Hyde Park, there is some indication that they were discussed there or that Roosevelt at least intended to discuss them with Churchill during these conversations:
- Postwar world organization. See ante, p. 682.
- Recognition of Rome as an open city. In a memorandum of August 8, 1943, the President’s Naval Aide (Brown) directed the staff of the White House Map Room to assemble pertinent documentation on this subject and on recognition of the French Committee and conditions for an armistice to be demanded from Italy. Brown stated: “The President will discuss these subjects and any others that may have developed with the Prime Minister at Hyde Park on 12 August.” (Roosevelt Papers)
- Conditions for an armistice to be demanded from Italy. See under item 2, above.
- Ethiopia. In a memorandum of August 4, 1943, addressed to Hull, Roosevelt stated that in regard to Ethiopia he would “have an opportunity to talk this over with the Prime Minister of Great Britain when I next see him” and invited Hull to let the President know before August 12 if there were anything else which Hull wished Roosevelt to take up with Churchill (851v.014/8–443). On August 10, 1943, Hull submitted to Roosevelt a memorandum commenting on questions relating to Ethiopia (id.; not printed). Cf. Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. IV, pp. 97 ff.
- Libya. See ante, p. 681.
- The possibility of a meeting with Stalin in Alaska. See Pickers-gill, p. 543.
It was not Roosevelt’s custom to record his conversations with Churchill, and although Harry Hopkins was present at Hyde Park, nothing has been found in the Hopkins Papers concerning the substance of the discussions there. The only memorandum of conversation pertaining to these discussions which has been found is the informal memorandum by W. Averell Harriman printed infra. For Churchill’s very brief account of his visit to Hyde Park on this occasion, see Closing the Ring, pp. 81–82.