711.6111/17: Telegram

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

2108. The luncheon given by Molotov June 10 on the second anniversary of the signing of the Mutual Aid Agreement was an unusually cordial and informal affair. In addition to the usual toasts, Molotov particularly emphasized the great role which you have played in establishing Soviet-American collaboration and later remarked to me that it would be difficult to exaggerate the effect which your coming to Moscow had had on the successful conclusion of the Moscow Conference.

Mikoyan was fulsome in his praise of American industry and of the contribution which lend-lease has made to Soviet military achievements. He concluded by remarking with a smile that he hoped lend-lease would continue after the war. I responded by pointing out that the spirit of lend-lease was one of mutual assistance in a common purpose and that the United States was heartily in favor of continuing this spirit of lend-lease cooperation after the war.85

  1. Several days later in telegram 2226, June 22, Ambassador Harriman reported his “surprise and embarrassment on June 11” to have received from Mikoyan “an enormous polar bear rug, apparently a record specimen” and from Molotov at the luncheon the gift of “an astonishing and elaborate piece of porcelain, the original product of a Soviet artist, depicting a mythological story.” Harriman said that he was “reporting these incidents because to my knowledge they are the first elaborate gifts of high Soviet officials and appear to be another indication of a return to old Russian customs.” (711.6111/18)