811.003 Wallace, Henry A./65: Telegram

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

1991. Moscow newspapers for June 3 published a Tass despatch datelined Irkutsk June 2 and headed “Address of Vice President of the United States of America, Mr. Wallace, in Irkutsk.”61

[Page 964]

The despatch occupies about 17 column inches in prominent positions on the foreign pages of the papers.

The text of the item reads in translation as follows:

“The Vice President of the United States of America, Mr. Henry A. Wallace, while passing through here delivered an address last night at a gathering of the intelligentsia and representatives of the public organization of the city which took place in the building of the Oblast Theatre. The audience greeted Mr. Wallace very warmly. In his address delivered in the Russian language Mr. Wallace stated,

‘I was deeply moved when I entered your country last week. I have visited Welkal, Seimchan, Magadan, Komsomolsk, and Yakutsk. I made the acquaintance of your agricultural experts. I also observed the determination of Sov[iet]-people to turn out the maximum production in mines, in metallurgical and aircraft plants and in shipbuilding yards. I worked in your victory gardens and met your gardeners. I saw high quality cattle and I saw hogs and chickens. I saw your airdromes and met your aviators and military men among whom I especially want to mention General Semenov and hero of the Sov[iet] Union Colonel Mazuruk. Among your outstanding administrators I should like to mention the director of the Far Eastern Construction Administration I. S. Nikishov and also the leaders of the factories and plants of the rapidly growing city of youth Komsomolsk.

There are no more similar countries in the world than the Sov[iet] Union and the Uni[ted] States of America. The vast expanses of your country, its virgin forests, its broad rivers and great lakes, all types of climate from tropical to polar, its inexhaustible natural riches remind me of my own homeland. The history of Siberia and its heroic population remind me of the history of the far west of the Uni[ted] States. The pioneers of our countries in the titanic struggle with nature and with hard conditions of life went forward fearlessly building new towns and villages, new industry and a new life for the welfare of their homeland and of all humanity.

In this struggle in this construction, characters were tempered, the best traits of human personality were developed, inborn social instincts manifested and the feeling of social solidarity was strengthened.

It is no accident that in the present war Siberia has played and continues to play such a tremendous role. Her fighters are in the first ranks on all fronts and in important work in the rear, her technical forces have constructed in a very short time a new and full arsenal essential to the great Red Army in the struggle with the hated and powerful enemy and have thus substantially contributed to its victories.

Free people born on free expanses cannot tolerate any injustice, any aggression, cannot even temporarily live in slavery. Now when the early dawn of the future postwar world is beginning slowly to appear on the horizon it is becoming perfectly clear that only the full cooperation of our two great countries and their allies can assure to the world stability and proper development.

In the cause of the greatest postwar reconstruction it will be vitally necessary that in the interests of the whole world the important role of the northwestern part of the United States and of Canada, Alaska and Sov[iet] Siberia be recognized. These enormous thinly populated [Page 965] territories have in our time been mastered by aviation. Now they require development both of their agriculture and of their industry. It is the duty of the United States and Canada to undertake determined scientific efforts in the development of their northern areas such as have been displayed by the Soviet Union in developing Siberia and the Far East.

I am convinced that by [the] exchange of information and of varieties of seeds and of the best breeds of cattle with the Soviet Union, Canada, and the United States can substantially increase the productivity of all these regions. The vast masses of people who have experienced all the horrors of general and personal catastrophes have faith that their torments and sacrifices have not been in vain and that the terrible days of war will be followed by bright days of peace in justice and in abundant peace for every man.

My present journey through the regions of the Soviet Far East and Siberia, my visits to factories and plants in these regions, to experimental agricultural stations and fields, my meetings and conversations with the leaders of industrial enterprises and agricultural establishments, with workers and with the best stakhanovites62 of war, industry and agriculture, their tremendous interest in everything being done in native country in the United States of America, fills me with firm confidence that the friendship between our great countries confirmed by the blood of the best sons of the peoples of both countries on the fronts of the deadly struggle against the enemy of humanity, Hitlerite Germany, will grow and become stronger in the postwar period also.’

After the meeting Mr. H. Wallace attended a performance. The play, Men of Stalingrad, was presented.”

Harriman
  1. Vice President Wallace had landed in the Soviet Far East on May 23. Reports of his speech on June 12 in the opera house at Novosibirsk, which consisted of variations on the themes of the speech in Irkutsk, were printed in the Soviet press on the next day.
  2. A stakhanovite was a worker who emulated the achievements of Alexey Grigoryevich Stakhanov, employed in the Donets coal mines in 1935, who succeeded in overfulfilling the established norms of production.