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

No. 2708

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my telegram No. 186 of March 2, describing an interview with the Finnish Foreign Minister, Dr. Ramsay, in which he declared the Russian peace terms released here on March 2 very difficult for Finland to accept. He referred to the vital damage to the economy of the country which restoration of the frontiers of the Moscow Peace of 1940 would impose, and to illustrate his argument gave me a series of maps and statistics which are enclosed.58

In explaining the maps, Dr. Ramsay dwelt particularly on the importance of the Saima Canal, which connects south and central Finland with the port of Viipuri and is the outlet for a large part of Finland’s timber exports which is floated down the lake system through the Canal to Viborg.59

Some of the more salient statistics given in the tables accompanying the maps follow.

In forest resources Finland would see its forest area reduced from 1939 total of 19,580,000 hectares to 17,480,000 hectares. Finland loses 20% of its sawn timber woodworking industry, 23% of plywood industry, 25% of woodpulpboard, 25% of chemical woodpulp.

By the loss of the Saima Canal the country loses transport facilities for 13% of total exports of sawn timber and 13.5% of pitprops and pulpwood. The importance of the loss of the ports of Viipuri, Uuras, Koivisto and Makslahti is illustrated by fact that through these ports in 1938 passed 28% of sawn timber exports, 24% of mechanical and chemical woodpulp, 6.5% of paper, 31% of woodpulp board, 27.5% of plywood and 20% of other timber.

Seventeen per cent of Finnish railway trackage, or 1,000 kilometers, is in area to be ceded.

Chiefly through loss of sections of the Vuoksi River, Finland would lose 17.8% of total water power or 1,600 kilowatt hours output, while 25.8% of total capacity would be lost and 44.6% of total capacity of water power stations under construction.

These losses to the Finnish economy affect chiefly the timber industry, the country’s principal industry and source of income.

Respectfully yours,

Edmund A. Gullion
  1. Not printed.
  2. i.e., Viipuri.