Truman Papers: Telegram

No. 1
Prime Minister Churchill to President Truman 1

top secret

Prime Minister to President Truman. Number 34. Personal and top secret.

I send you in my immediately following telegram2 the personal answer3 which U. J.4 has sent to me on my long telegram of April 295 which latter you thought well of and also supported by the message quoted in your Number 25.6 It seems to me that matters7 can hardly be carried further by correspondence and that, as soon as possible, there should be a meeting of the three heads of governments. Meanwhile we should hold firmly to the existing position obtained or being obtained by our armies in Yugoslavia, in Austria, in Czechoslovakia, on the main central United States front and on the British front reaching up to Lübeck including Denmark. There will be plenty to [Page 4] occupy both armies in collecting the prisoners during the next few days, and we may hope that the VE celebration will also occupy the public mind at home. Thereafter I feel that we must most earnestly consider our attitude towards the Soviets and show them how much we have to offer or withhold.

. . . . . . .

  1. Sent by the United States Military Attaché, London, via Army channels. Text communicated to the Secretary of State by Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, in a memorandum of May 9 (file No. 860c.01/5–945).
  2. Not printed.
  3. See Winston S. Churchill, Triumph and Tragedy (vol. vi of The Second World War) (Boston, 1953), p. 499; Stalin’s Correspondence With Churchill, Attlee, Roosevelt and Truman, 1941–45 (New York, 1958), vol. i, p. 346. The short title Stalin’s Correspondence is hereafter used to refer to the last-cited publication, which constitutes a reissue (including the original title pages and with the original pagination but bound in one volume) of the two volumes of Correspondence Between the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the U.S.S.R. and the Presidents of the U.S.A. and the Prime Ministers of Great Britain During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945 (Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1957; Ministry of Foreign Affairs publication). For a citation to the Russian text of this compilation, see document No. 21, footnote 1.
  4. Uncle Joe, i. e., Stalin.
  5. See Churchill, Triumph and Tragedy, p. 494; Stalin’s Correspondence, vol. i, p. 338.
  6. Not printed. Truman’s telegram No. 25 to Churchill quoted for the latter’s information the text of Truman’s message of May 4 to Stalin concerning Poland. See Harry S. Truman, Year of Decisions (vol. i of Memoirs by Harry S. Truman) (Garden City, 1955), pp. 254–255; Stalin’s Correspondence, vol. ii, p. 228.
  7. With respect to the “matters” which Churchill presumably had in mind, see document No. 4.