The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union ( Standley )
799. It is evident that some uneasiness exists in the minds of the refugee governments and authorities and their respective countries over the question of the possible establishment of military government in those countries. As there is every intention of having those governments and constituted authorities participate to the extent practicable in the function of maintaining law and order and in the administration of the liberated areas it has seemed desirable to make a public statement to that effect. This Government proposes therefore to issue an identic statement on liberated areas with the British Government on September 15.14 You are instructed to communicate this statement to the Soviet authorities for any comment they may care to make with regard thereto and for similar action if they so desire. You should request that the matter be considered strictly confidential until the date of release.
In his telegram No. 1290, September 8, 1943, 2 p.m., the Ambassador stated: “I left with Vyshinsky on September 7, a note [presumably dated September 6] containing the considerations set forth in your telegram and requested expeditious action.” (800.0146/160)
In telegram No. 850, September 15, the Department directed the Ambassador to inform the Soviet Government that publication of the statement had been temporarily postponed (800.0146/165).[Page 518]
The statement reads as follows:
- “1. The Governments of the United States and United Kingdom, necessarily by reason of their military operations in enemy territory, must assume the major responsibility for the administration of enemy territories conquered by their forces in pursuance of the war against the Axis.
- “2. The Governments of the United States and the United Kingdom, while continuing to exercise supreme military authority in liberated areas pending the defeat of the enemy, will be agreeable to the policy of the governments and constituted authorities of the United Nations in their respective liberated countries proceeding with the function of maintaining law and order with such assistance by the Allied authorities as may be necessary, subject always to military requirements.
“Conversations and arrangements with the governments of those countries have already been in progress for some time on these aspects of the mutual interests involved.”
- The text of this draft statement was agreed to by President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill in a meeting at Quebec on August 22. For additional details, see The Memoirs of Cordell Bull, vol. ii, pp. 1239–1240.↩