740.00119 European War 1939/2179

The American Legation in Finland to the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs 14


The Secretary of State has requested the American Chargé d’Affaires a.i. in Helsinki to call upon the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland with reference to interviews granted by Mr. McClintock, former American Chargé d’Affaires in Helsinki, to the Helsinki press before his departure for Stockholm and to refer also to an interview between the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Mr. McClintock on January 24.15 The American Chargé d’Affaires has been instructed by his Government to state that it wishes it made clear to the Finnish Government that the interviews granted by Mr. McClintock were not authorized by the United States Government and were on Mr. McClintock’s own initiative. The conclusion should not be drawn from these interviews that the Government of the United States has in any way altered the views which it has often repeated as to the existing collaboration between Germany and Finland and the state of war which continues between Finland on one hand and, on the other, the U.S.S.R.,16 Great Britain17 and the nations in the British Commonwealth, who have all pledged themselves to continue to wage this war until victory is won. It should not be forgotten, furthermore, that each one of the United Nations has given a pledge to make no separate peace.

The American Chargé d’Affaires is instructed also to refer to Dr. Ramsay’s inquiry during his interview with Mr. McClintock of January 24, 1944 as to whether, in the event of the Germans leaving Finland, American policy would continue to be critical of Finland because it continued to make war against the U.S.S.R. Mr. McClintock indicated [Page 560] that this was a hypothetical question; his Government’s answer to the Foreign Minister’s question is most emphatically affirmative; the United States Government’s attitude toward Finland, a fact of which the Finnish Government should be well aware, is influenced not only by the overt cooperation between Germany and Finland, which among other ways is evidenced by the acceptance by Finland on Finnish soil of the armed forces of Germany, but, additionally, by the existence of a state of war between Finland and Allies of the United States of America, among whom are the British Commonwealth of Nations and the Soviet Union, who are bound together in solemn agreements for the aims for which this war is being waged.

Nowhere can there still be a vestige of doubt, even in Germany, of the inevitability of Germany’s total military defeat; nor that, when Germany’s military power is destroyed, there must follow, inexorably, disastrous consequences to those nations which have based their policy on confidence in the military might of Germany. Nor can there remain hardly any doubt that the longer the hopeless struggle is continued by Germany and its associates, the more rigorous will be the terms of peace imposed.

Therefore, it would appear that the Finnish Government might wish to consider whether the conclusion is not to be drawn that the longer Finland continues at war, the more unfavorable the terms of peace open to it will become. The Government of the United States desires to reiterate that it is the Finnish Government and solely that Government which must bear responsibility for the results to Finland of its failure to end Finland’s participation in the war and its collaboration with the Axis.18

  1. Copy transmitted to the Department in despatch 2694, February 4, from Helsinki. The Chargé in Finland delivered this Aide-Mémoire to the Minister for Foreign Affairs as instructed in the Department’s telegram 15, January 29, 1944, not printed.
  2. In telegrams 58 and 60, January 24, 1944, the Chargé reported that he had, that day, made statements to the press in Helsinki and to Finnish Foreign Minister Ramsay. These statements were substantially as follows: That Finland’s cooperation with the principal enemy of the United States in Europe was the reason why in the “relations between United States and Finland there must be problems for which solution can be found only with difficulty” (711.60d/283); that as long as enemy troops remained in Finland friendly relations between Finland and the United States would be impossible; and (statement made to Ramsay only), that it was a “hypothetical question” whether or not American policy would be “critical of Finland” if she continued the war against the Soviet Union after German forces left Finland. (740.00119 European War 1939/2099)
  3. War between Finland and the Soviet Union began on June 25, 1941; see Foreign Relations, 1941, vol. i, pp. 4043.
  4. Great Britain declared war on Finland on December 6, 1941, effective the following day. See telegram 256, December 5, 1941, to Helsinki, ibid., p. 114.
  5. The Chargé reported in telegram 72, January 31, 1944, that after Foreign Minister Ramsay had read the Aide-Mémoire, the latter stated he had only two comments to make: “(a) With reference to first paragraph of statement he stated he had not deduced change in U. S. policy from interviews given by McClintock (statements attributed to McClintock do not appear to have caused much comment in Helsinki to my knowledge, nor has undue emphasis been placed upon them); (b) Dr. Ramsay took especial note of that part of Department’s communication which emphatically affirmed that the attitude of our Government would continue to be critical of any continuation of the war by Finland after Germans had left country.” The Chargé felt that Dr. Ramsay “will take Department’s communication under close advisement; its force did not appear to be lost upon him.” (740.00119 European War 1939/2107)