740.00119 European War 1939/2430a

The Secretary of State to President Roosevelt

My Dear Mr. President: I have received your memorandum of April 1, 1944 in which you express your disapproval of the British suggestion that there be an exception made to the unconditional surrender principle as applied to the satellite Axis states in Europe. Since that time you will have received the Soviet memorandum which I forwarded to you on the same date in which the Soviet Government expresses its support of the British suggestion.

Although I told you that because of your decision on the British request I would inform the Soviet Ambassador of the views of this Government on this question, upon further reflection I am very much afraid that the Soviet Government will not understand our refusal to accede to the desire of both the British and Soviet Governments on this point. Since the Soviet Government itself has to some extent laid down without objection from us definite conditions in the case of Finland, I am sure they will not understand why there should be any objection to doing the same in the case of Rumania and Hungary as in their opinion there is a definite military advantage to be gained. We might find ourselves in the position of being accused of having rendered more difficult the Soviet military task.

I hope you will let me have your views in the light of the above considerations and in the meantime I will withhold reply to the British and Soviet Ambassadors.

Faithfully yours,

Cordell Hull