740.00119 European War/2343

Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs ( Bohlen ) to the Under Secretary of State ( Stettinius )

Mr. Stettinius: It is probable that one of the most difficult obstacles to a Soviet-Finnish peace will be the question of Hango, and a recent telegram from Stockholm,46 which you no doubt saw, made specific mention of this question.

The Soviet terms as given to us and as broadcast by the Moscow radio yesterday, by referring to the restoration of the Treaty of 1940 would appear to indicate a determination on the part of the Soviets to retain the leased base at Hango. I thought you might be interested to know, for your personal and secret information, that at Tehran, Stalin definitely stated to the President and Mr. Churchill that the Soviet Government would be prepared to relinquish its claim to a base at Hango in return for the cession of Petsamo in the north.47

The Soviet conditions as published leave the question of Petsamo for consideration during the negotiations without, however, any reference to the abandonment of a claim to Hango. It is not clear whether the Soviet Government now intends to have both or will in negotiation agree to relinquish this claim to Hango in accordance with Stalin’s statement to the President and the Prime Minister.48

Charles E. Bohlen
  1. Supra.
  2. See Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Cairo and Tehran, 1943, p. 592.
  3. British Prime Minister, Winston S. Churchill.