861.24/1335

Memorandum of Press Conference of March 9, 1943, by the Chief of the Division of Current Information (McDermott)

Opening the press conference, Mr. Welles said he could imagine what the correspondents’ questions were going to be this morning but he would go through the form of asking.

A correspondent then asked if Mr. Welles had any comment. In reply, Mr. Welles made the following comment for which permission was given to use as a direct quotation: “I have cabled Ambassador Standley asking him to let us have the text of what remarks he may have made. I have not yet received a reply and for that reason, until I have received a reply from the Ambassador, I am not going to comment in any detail on what was said, or alleged to have been said. I [Page 629]think I should make it clear, however, that whatever was said in this reported press conference was said without prior consultation with or reference to this Government. The understanding which exists between the United Nations in this great enterprise in which they are joined for the purpose of defeating utterly the Axis tyrannies and for the purpose of insuring the security and the liberties of the peoples of the United Nations would not be worth very much if it was not based upon complete trust and understanding between all of them. I believe that that understanding and trust exists and I am perfectly confident that anything that Ambassador Standley may have said could not have been intended to and did not cast any doubt on that trust and understanding. For the time being, I am going to limit myself to that brief statement.”

A correspondent asked if Mr. Welles would care to make any comment on the Vice President’s92 statement that the United Nations should avoid double-crossing Russia. The Acting Secretary said he had read the speech93 of the Vice President and it seemed to him that the intention of the Vice President was very clear and any comment from him was unnecessary but he thought any questions the correspondents might have on that or other portions of the speech should be addressed to Vice President Wallace.

M. J. McDermott
  1. Henry A. Wallace.
  2. Speech delivered at Columhus, Ohio, on March 8, 1943; for text, see Congressional Record, vol. 89, pt. 9, p. A1087.