Moscow Embassy Files, Lot F–96

President Roosevelt to the Chairman of the Soviet Council of People’s Commissars (Stalin)15


Both the Prime Minister and myself are pleased with the idea of a political and military meeting on the State Department level.

It should be held, I think, as soon as possible. Perhaps September 25 would be a good date. What do you think of this?

The Prime Minister has suggested London or some other place in England, and I should agree to have my representative go to either of these if you also think it best. I am inclined, however, to the thought of a more remote spot where the meeting would be less surrounded by reporters. Perhaps Casablanca or Tunis, and I do not object to Sicily, except that the communications from and to there are more troublesome.

[Page 519]

The political representatives would, of course, report to their respective governments as I do not think we could give plenary powers to them. They could be advised on military developments by attaching one or two military advisers to them, although I do not want to have the meeting develop at this stage into a full scale combined chiefs’ conference.

If Mr. Molotov and Mr. Eden attend I should wish to send Mr. Hull but I do not want Mr. Hull to undertake such a long journey, so I would, therefore, send Mr. Welles, the Under Secretary of State. Mr. Harriman17 would also attend as he has an excellent knowledge of shipping and commercial matters. I shall endeavor to send someone from my staff as American military adviser. He would be in complete touch with the work of the combined staffs.

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  1. Transmitted in a letter from Ambassador Standley to Foreign Commissar Molotov, September 6, 1943, not printed. Mr. Molotov acknowledged receipt of the letter in a note dated September 7, and stated that “the message in question has been transmitted by me to its destination”.
  2. Other portions of this message are printed on p. 784 and in Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Cairo and Tehran, 1943, p. 23.
  3. Place and date taken from the copy at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, N.Y.
  4. W. Aver ell Harriman, special representative of President Roosevelt; appointed Ambassador to the Soviet Union on October 7, 1943.