Moscow Embassy Files, Lot F–96

The Chairman of the Soviet Council of People’s Commissars ( Stalin ) to President Roosevelt and the British Prime Minister ( Churchill )4

[Extract—Translation]5

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2. The additions and corrections to your message and President Roosevelt’s message6 were received yesterday from Mr. Kerr.7 In this message you have informed me regarding the instructions sent to General Eisenhower8 in connection with the terms of capitulation drawn up for Italy in the negotiations with General Castellano.9 My colleagues and I consider that the instructions given to General Eisenhower fully comply with the aims of the unconditional surrender of Italy and therefore cannot evoke any objections. At the same time I consider the information thus far received as absolutely inadequate to permit of an assessment of the measures which the Allies found it necessary to take during the negotiations with Italy. This fact confirms the need for the participation of a Soviet representative in the taking of decisions during negotiations. Therefore, I consider that the time is ripe for the convocation of a military-political mission of representatives of the three countries regarding which I wrote you on the 22nd of August.

[In his telegram No. 1208, August 28, 1943, 11 a.m., the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Standley) stated his reasons for believing that “the proposal (to create a military-political commission of representatives of the three countries—the USA, Great Britain and the USSR—for the consideration of questions regarding negotiations with [Page 784] governments falling out with Germany) and to meet in Sicily should be accepted and motivated at once”; for text of this telegram, see volume III, page 567.]

  1. This message was telegraphed by Foreign Commissar Molotov to Arkady Alexandre vich Sobolev, Soviet Chargé in the United Kingdom, “for transmission to its destination.” A copy was sent on August 24 by Mr. Molotov to Ambassador Standley at Moscow, from which this translation was made.
  2. Other portions of this message are printed on p. 514 and in Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Cairo and Tehran, 1943, p. 22.
  3. For joint message dated August 19, 1943, from President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill to Marshal Stalin, see Stalin’s Correspondence With Churchill, Attlee, Roosevelt and Truman, 1941–45 (New York, 1958), p. 144. Text of this message is also scheduled for publication with the records of the First Quebec Conference in a subsequent volume of Foreign Relations. A note in Stalin’s Correspondence states that the British Ambassador presented a partial text on August 20 and the full text on August 22.
  4. Sir Archibald Clark Kerr, British Ambassador in the Soviet Union.
  5. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, U.S. Army, Commander in Chief of Allied Forces.
  6. Brig. Gen. Giuseppe Castellano, attached to the Italian High Command. For correspondence regarding armistice negotiations with Italy, see vol. ii, pp. 314 ff.