740.00119 European War/2287: Telegram

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

235. 1. I called on Foreign Minister, Dr. Ramsay, by request this afternoon.

2. He inquired if I had been informed of decision of Diet. I replied that I had heard unofficial reports about action taken and hoped that it did not mean closing of door on negotiations. He said that door was not closed and that it was definitely intention of Finns not to close it, and that if any country could be said to have done so it would be the country which had set a time limit to further negotiations and which was in position of refusing further discussion. He said he could not understand failure of Western world to appreciate this.

3. He explained that Government had reported latest Russian terms with recommendation that they be not accepted unless further [Page 577] discussion were permitted by Russians. Diet had unanimously agreed71 (exact form of unanimous approval seems to have been in shape of unrecorded vote rather than actual count of members). Dr. Ramsay asked if I and my Government understood that Finland’s decision was being reached solely through democratic procedures without pressure of any kind. I answered that I believed and thought our Government believed Finnish Government was faithful to democratic procedures.

4. In this connection he stated that Germans had not applied any pressure here and that they had been calm throughout. I replied that obviously Finland’s association with Germany gave us great concern and in this connection I informed him of our Government’s views as expressed in Department’s 63 March 14,72 and presented him with an aide-mémoire 73 in sense of that message. I then pointed out that although telegram transmitting this message was despatched from Washington urgently on March 14, it had not been received here until morning of March 16. I expressed my concern about this delay in communications and pointed out that if any further message was to be sent by my Government, I should have it at earliest possible moment. He asked that I should call him as soon as possible tomorrow morning to ascertain situation. I asked if Finnish note following Diet session had been transmitted to Russians. He said that he could not say that it had been delivered but that it had been forwarded to Stockholm.

Repeated to Stockholm as my 43.

  1. The Diet had voted on March 15.
  2. Not printed; it expressed the hope of the United States Government that the conversations taking place between the Soviet and Finnish Governments would lead to Finland’s withdrawal from the war (740.0019 European War/2284a).
  3. Not printed.