740.00119 European War 1939/2126: Telegram

The Chargé in Finland ( Gullion ) to the Secretary of State

114. Foreign Minister asked me to call this morning. He made the following statement:

He had given all consideration to the American statement of January 31 (Department’s 15, January 2926) and had read Secretary Hull’s declaration27 to press. He wished Secretary Hull to know that he has been endeavoring to find a solution to the Finnish problem which would safeguard Finnish interests and yet meet Russian ideas. So far he has been unable to get sufficient information to elucidate the Russian point of view but is continuing his efforts.
He wished this to be for the private and personal information of Secretary Hull since he feared if this statement became more widely known, there would be misgivings by the Russians about Finnish good faith and fears lest the Finns were intriguing against them.
I asked the Foreign Minister whether his phrase “continuing efforts” meant that he was actually in contact with the Russians. With some reluctance he said that this was the case but that the contact was not a direct one. I did not press him further. In my meeting with him on January 31 (my 75 February 128) he had sheered away from this topic and gave me to understand by indirection that there had been no contact.
After interview Dr. Ramsay left immediately for meeting of Diet Foreign Affairs Committee.
If Department agrees I shall find an occasion to bring to the attention of the Foreign Office without undue emphasis, Madame Kollontay’s interview of January 29 with Minister Johnson.29 Her remarks seem to have been made with the intention that we should bring them to the notice of the Finns.

  1. Not printed, but see aide-mémoire of January 31, and footnote 14, p. 559.
  2. On February 8 Secretary of State Hull had issued a statement summarizing the American Government’s attitude toward Finland as it was expressed in the aide-mémoire of January 31. For Secretary Hull’s statement, see Department of State Bulletin, February 12, 1944, p. 179.
  3. Not printed.
  4. The Minister in Sweden, in his telegram 312 of January 31, reported this conversation with the Soviet Minister during which the latter mentioned that if Finland did not soon react favorably to Soviet peace terms, the U.S.S.R. would take “action which would be disastrous for Finland” (740.00119 European War 1939/2106). The Department advised, in its telegram 23 of February 9 to Helsinki, that it was inadvisable for Chargé Gullion to inform the Finns of the Kollontay statement (740.00119 EW/2126).