The Ambassador in Italy
(Kirk) to the Acting Secretary of State
2928. During course of our conversation today Field Marshal Alexander confided that he found Churchill “very ill at ease” with regard to Russians. The latter had cited various reports made by Clark Kerr recounting conversations with Soviet officials including Molotov and Maiski which left no doubt in Churchill’s mind of the ultimate intentions of the Russians. He said that it was Brit Prime Minister’s impression that Stalin was being amiable at present time in order to “sweeten the atmosphere” just before Big Three meeting, but that it was to be fully expected that several unpleasant things would be tabled by Russian Premier during course of conference and indeed it should not be excluded that even a fait accompli or two might be presented. When we asked SAC to clarify this point he stated that everyone in London is most uneasy on display of force in Bulgaria and pressure being brought to bear on Turks. He added that Churchill had requested British COS views as to possible role which might be played by the Russians in war in Far East and was not satisfied with any of results produced.
Alexander made flat statement that if Anglo-American policy is to be a wise one we must begin to knot together immediately those pieces which can be salvaged from what is left in our way of life on continent of Europe and do most possible with it. He added that he included Germany in this statement. SAC stated that he was not at all encouraged by point of view of key people in London but he did not know whether this was due to reality or to fact that everyone had been burdened with rigors of a very dirty political campaign. Alexander informed us that he expects to leave Caserta morning July 15 in order to accompany Churchill to meeting of Big Three.
- The gist of this message was included in an unnumbered communication of July 13 sent by Grew to Byrnes by pouch (file No. 740.00119 Potsdam/7–1345).↩