Truman Papers: Telegram

No. 23
President Truman to Marshal Stalin 1

top secret

Number 271, personal and top secret, from the President to Marshal Stalin.

I was most pleased to receive your wire2 in regard to Mr. Hopkins’ visit. I feel that it is wiser that I make an announcement of his proposed visit to Moscow following his departure from the United States rather than risk having it leak out and become the subject of speculation in the press. Mr. Hopkins plans to leave tomorrow morning, May 23, and later in the day I propose to announce to the press that he is proceeding to Moscow with Ambassador Harriman [Page 24] to talk over with you matters now in discussion between the Soviet and United States Governments.3

  1. Sent to the United States Naval Attaché, Moscow, via Navy channels.
  2. document No. 21.
  3. The White House issued the following press release on May 23 (reprinted from Department of State Bulletin, vol. xii, p. 953):

    “The President has requested Harry Hopkins and Joseph E. Davies to undertake special missions for him.

    “Mr. Hopkins will proceed in company with Ambassador Averell Harriman to Moscow to converse with Marshal Stalin upon matters now in discussion between the Soviet Government and the Government of the United States.

    “Mr. Davies will go directly to London to discuss with Prime Minister Churchill and other members of the British Government certain matters of common interest to the United States and Great Britain arising out of the war. …”

    With respect to the purpose of the Hopkins and Davies missions, see also Truman, Year of Decisions, pp. 110, 257–259.