711.61/968: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Soviet Union ( Harriman ) to the Secretary of State

69. For President and the Secretary. I believe I should report to you the development of our relations with the Soviet officials since Tehran.

Although Molotov7 and those with whom members of the Military Mission8 have had contact are cordial and friendly and have given approval in principle to number of our proposals, we have had complete runaround in getting action on or even detailed discussion of these proposals. I am speaking particularly of the military proposals you gave Stalin9 at Tehran and others submitted by General Deane on instructions from Washington. Also information, asked [Page 803] for, by Washington to justify Lend-Lease requests10 has not been forthcoming or has been so vague as to be of little, if any, value.

About a week ago after discussion with General Deane and members of Military Mission, I came to the conclusion that the time had come for us to demand action. This policy has already shown some results but we are still far from satisfied.

If we don’t get action promptly on those matters directly contributing to prosecution of war I intend to insist on interview with Stalin. At the moment I am inclined to believe that Soviet inaction comes not from ill-will but from the bottlenecking of all decisions in the Kremlin and fact that spirit of Tehran has not percolated to lower echelons. Unless we blast this open now, and I believe it can be done by firm but still friendly approach, a pattern will be set in our relations with Soviets which will result in our getting minimum of value out of cooperation agreed to at Tehran, except on the highest strategic level, in the war and in fact in our postwar relationships as well.

  1. Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov, People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union.
  2. The United States Military Mission in the Soviet Union, Maj. Gen. John R. Deane, commanding general. Concerning the proposal for establishment of this mission, and its acceptance, see telegram 934, October 1, 1943, to Moscow, Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. iii, p. 704.
  3. Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin, Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars of the Soviet Union.
  4. The Lend-Lease Act was approved on March 11, 1941; 55 Stat. 31. For correspondence concerning wartime assistance from the United States for the Soviet Union, see pp. 1032 ff.