The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Harriman) to President Roosevelt 43

Personal for the President. I met the Prime Minister on his arrival today at noon about 34 hours from England. He looked remarkably well considering his long trip. I saw him very informally late this afternoon after his nap. He is dining tonight with Stalin. He told me that having gone to see you he thought it would create good feeling if he were to come to Moscow. This was his main object in coming. He said that you had asked him not to attempt to come to agreement on the principal outstanding question of Dumbarton Oaks and that when the subject came up he would say that it could be argued both ways and that when the 3 of you got together he felt sure the matter could be talked out to agreement. He said that he was now somewhat open-minded on the subject. That he had first felt strongly that the great powers should not [disagree?] on matters affecting them but that since his return to England he realized there was a great deal to be said for the Russian viewpoint. He hopes to be able to find some solution to the Polish question. He has Mikolajczyk on call with a plane waiting to bring him to Moscow if possible before his own departure. He wants to talk out with Stalin the Greek situation and intends that Eden should thrash out with Molotov, Yugoslavia and Tito’s recent strange behavior.44 He thinks that his presence here will expedite decisions about Hungary and Bulgaria. He is not worried about Rumania. He expects that the subject of the war with Japan45 will come up and asked me to brief him on the cables that have been sent to General Deane. He confessed that he knew very little about the Pacific War and agreed that the discussions with the Russians about it were primarily ours. As to my participation in his discussions here he said that he was disappointed that you did not wish to make the discussions triangular by sending General Marshall or Stettinius or by giving me authority to participate but that you had made it plain that I should be an observer only and therefore with less authority than at the talks 2 years ago. Under the circumstances he said that he thought it was better for me not to participate in his tête-à-tête talks with Stalin although he would gladly invite me to the [Page 1005] larger meetings. He said however he would keep me fully informed of all his talks. I said firmly that although I fully understood the reasons for and value of tête-à-têtes with Stalin you wanted me to be present at as many discussions as appropriate so that I could report fully to you on my return. The talk could not have been more friendly and was on the same basis of intimacy I had with him during the years in England. Although it is not entirely clear how it will work out it is my guess that he will have most of his important talks with Stalin alone and so will Eden with Molotov. I will be asked in only occasionally. I am sure however he will see me daily and tell me his impressions of how things go. I would appreciate being informed whether the above is generally satisfactory to you or whether you wish me to urge my being included in more of the meetings. The Prime Minister told me of his suggestion to attempt to get Stalin to come to meet you and himself at The Hague in November. He asked me about Stalin’s health. I told him that in my last talk with Stalin on the subject it seemed he was being advised against flying particularly at high altitudes and I thought that it might be more possible to get Stalin to come by sea through the Black Sea to the Mediterranean area. It would be helpful if you would tell me whether you would prefer to have the meeting in the North or in the Mediterranean. There is no doubt that Stalin and his advisors are concerned about his taking strenuous trips and it may well be that the meeting would be jeopardized if the North is insisted upon.

  1. Copy of telegram obtained from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, N.Y. A paraphrase of this telegram is in the Department of State files under 741.6111/10–1144.
  2. Marshal Tito (Josip Broz), the President of the National Committee of Liberation of Yugoslavia, had secretly gone to Moscow in the latter part of September, where, on the 29th, he had signed an agreement for the passage of Soviet troops through Yugoslavia. See telegram 510, September 23, from Caserta, p. 1410.
  3. For correspondence relative to the entry of the Soviet Union into the war against Japan, see Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Malta and Yalta, 1945, pp. 361 ff.