The Chairman of the President’s War Relief Control
Board1 (Davies) to
Supplemental Report4 in Re: Mission to London
My Dear Mr. President: With reference to the above entitled matter, I have the honor to report my discussions with Prime Minister Churchill. I have gone into detail with the thought that it may prepare you for the atmosphere and attitude which may still confront you at the coming meeting.
These talks, alone with the Prime Minister, covered approximately eight hours. At Chequers we talked from 11 o’clock Saturday night5 until 4:30 Sunday morning. They were resumed in his bedroom Sunday morning at 11 o’clock (he sitting up in his bed) and lasted until 1:30 lunch, and were again resumed later in the afternoon and on the following Tuesday at 10 Downing Street.
On Saturday evening, first off, the Prime Minister said he wished to make his position clear. He was brief. He stood on his telegram to the President, #34.6 Great Britain might have to do certain things in her own interests, but would not oppose the U. S. He then asked me to go ahead.
the president’s message
Prefaced by a brief statement as to public opinion in the U. S., I gave him your message substantially as follows:
The President was gravely concerned over the serious deterioration in the relations of the Soviets with both Britain and the United States.[Page 65]
It was clear that without continued unity of the Big Three there could be no reasonable prospect of Peace.
The causes of this dangerous situation were also clear. They were differences over what the agreements arrived at in Yalta7 actually were, conflict over new matters which the speed of military victory in Europe had developed, all induced by and fed by fears, distrusts, and suspicions, on both sides.
If these differences were to be composed, an early meeting of the Prime Minister, Marshal Stalin, and the President, was imperative.
He had therefore despatched Harry Hopkins to Moscow to explore Marshal Stalin’s views with reference to this situation, and myself to London for similar discussions with the Prime Minister.
The President believed that the meeting should be directed to securing a meeting of the minds, clearly defining what the past agreements were, and similarly to arrive at and define agreements as to situations which had arisen since Yalta and might now be anticipated in future working together.
The President’s position was that every agreement made by President Roosevelt would be scrupulously supported by him. If there were differences of opinion as to what these agreements were, he wanted them cleared up. If new decisions were required for continued unity, he wanted clear understandings as to the terms. The U. S. would then fulfill these obligations, and he would confidently expect the same from associated governments.
It is the President’s conviction that the paramount objective now must be to conserve peace after victory. He conceives it to be the duty of the three nations which won the war to leave nothing undone in an effort to solve their differences, and through continued unity, make possible a just and durable peace structure.
The President had reason to believe that the situation was the more serious because of Soviet suspicion that now Britain and the U. S., along with the United Nations, were (to use the Prime Minister’s own phrase) “ganging up” on them. Such suspicion in fact was unjustified, and ought to be dispelled. That required the establishment of confidence in the good faith and reliability of the parties, which came only through frank discussions and the opportunity to know and estimate each other.
On that score the President was at a disadvantage in contrast to that which the Prime Minister and Marshal Stalin enjoyed. The Prime Minister and Mr. Eden, both had had the benefit of frequent contacts and friendly association with Marshal Stalin and Commissar Molotov.
It was the President’s desire, therefore, in view of the responsibility which he must assume, to have a similar opportunity to know the Marshal and to have Marshal Stalin come to know him. Each was entitled to have an opportunity to know and assess the credibility, character, and purposes, and point of view of the other.
The President, therefore, desired an opportunity to meet the Marshal immediately before the scheduled, forthcoming meeting. He felt [Page 66] certain the Prime Minister would appreciate the reasonableness of his position and facilitate such arrangement.
The President believed that Unity for Peace could only be assured on the basis of a balanced tripod of power, sustained by the justified mutual confidence of the Chiefs of State. As he saw it, that would permit neither “appeasement” nor “ganging up”.
My instructions also were to discuss tie time and place of the proposed meeting, and to explore matters which might be included on the agenda of the meeting.
The Prime Minister’s response to both the general idea and the specific suggestion was favorable. He said he could quite understand the President’s desire.
review of european situation
He then reviewed situations in Europe.
france and de gaulle
As to France, he was bitter. He was completely fed up with de Gaulle and out of patience. He ought to be “brought up” sharply and be given to understand clearly that he can not act arbitrarily and inconsiderately and refuse to submit his operations to the Supreme Allied Command, when his armies were supplied by his associates.8 He nevertheless made a distinction between the French people and de Gaulle.
tito and yugoslavia
He was even more bitter towards Tito. He could not be permitted arbitrarily to stake out and occupy, and assert dominion over parts of Austria and the Trieste District. That was for the Peace Conference. Tito, he said, was thoroughly unreliable, a communist, and completely under the domination of Moscow.
As to the rest of the Balkans, he complained bitterly that there was no joint cooperation or “fifty fifty” control as to Yugoslavia, nor “eighty twenty” in Bulgaria or Rumania,9 nor “tripartite” control in Austria. As he saw it, Tito’s attitude was a reflection of the Soviet policy and action, and failure of cooperation elsewhere disclosed what Europe had to confront and expect from the Soviets.[Page 67]
As the Prime Minister went on, he became vehement and even violent in his criticisms of the Soviet Armies and officials in the re-occupied areas. What was more horrible to him than Communism, was the imposition of the Secret Police and Gestapo methods. He spoke with much feeling of the “steel curtain” of the Soviets being “clamped down” on Eastern liberated areas, the horror of such a black out, etc. etc.
When Stalin, he said, had asked him recently why he feared the Soviets in Europe, he had replied that it was because they were sending, in advance of the Red Army, Communist propagandists and leaders, “like locusts”, to establish communist cells. Stalin’s attitude seemed to be that he had given his assurances as to his real purpose not to try to communize Europe; that this should be sufficient, particularly as an army had to take every precaution to protect itself in hostile, invaded territory.
“withdrawal of american armies courted disaster”
What he elaborated upon at length, and with great emphasis and emotion, were the grave dangers which would arise with the withdrawal of American troops from Europe. It would be a “terrible thing” if the American Army were vacated from Europe. Europe would be prostrate and at the mercy of the Red Army and of Communism. Moreover, it would never do to permit those American Forces which had advanced some 120 miles east of the lines of the American occupational zones to retire now. The present lines, through Central Germany, of the British and U. S. Armies should be maintained, lest Communism should dominate and control all of Western Europe. The positions were strategic. They should be held to serve for bargaining purposes with the Soviets, despite the fact that they were in advance of the areas of occupancy agreed upon.10 When I suggested that there had been an express agreement as to these zones,11 he said that conditions had greatly changed.
change of attitude on specific proposal
As he developed the discussion and came to the matter of the coming meeting he suddenly reversed his attitude as to your meeting with Stalin. He seemed to realize suddenly its possible effect on his [Page 68] political situation. In any event, he made a complete “about face” and became quite emotional. He was both surprised and hurt that he should be “excluded” from the first meeting with Stalin after victory. The implication was that it was poor return for his support of and friendship for the U. S. He reviewed the history of that support all through the war. He had supported “unconditional surrender”. He could have made peace with Hitler at any time. He could never, never consent. He would carry the issue to world public opinion. Such a meeting would be tantamount to a “Deal”.
I had said little up to this time. Here, however, I interrupted quite abruptly, and walking over to the fire-place, said with suppressed feeling that I was a guest in his house, but that I could not do other than resent such an imputation as to the President of the United States.
He interrupted me quite as promptly; and very generously and, I am sure, sincerely, disclaimed any such personal opinion, and explained that he had meant to say only that this would be what a hostile public would say.
Obviously he was upset and concerned over two situations which he saw developing, which I could understand. First, the possible effect of the proposal upon his election; and second, confirmation of his fear of the withdrawal of the U. S. from Europe, and particularly that Britain might be deprived of our military strength in trading with the Soviets.
Indicative of his anxiety over Europe, and the deployment of our forces, at one time he turned to me suddenly and said, “Are you trying to say for the President that the U. S. is withdrawing from participation in European affairs?”
restatement of president’s position
My reply was that I was not trying to convey or imply anything as to the President’s attitude other than what I had expressed specifically and had stated with care. I restated it. The President’s attitude was simple. He would definitely fulfill every engagement made by President Roosevelt. He desired to exhaust every possibility to avert disaster to unity. He wanted to know exactly what the engagements and agreements with the Soviets were. If there was disagreement as to what they were, he wanted to clarify that situation definitely, if possible. Matters in difference had arisen since Yalta which should be discussed and settled. Other matters as to Europe should also be discussed and an agreement arrived at which would preclude misunderstandings as far as possible. The only hope that peace should not be forfeited after victory lay in the continued unity of the three allied Powers. Every effort should now be directed through tolerant and [Page 69] friendly discussion to restore the unity which alone had made victory certain; with such agreements defined and arrived at, the U. S. would live up to them and expected others to do the same. It was his imperative duty and that of the other Chiefs of State to exhaust every honorable means to settle differences and to cooperate to prevent a new war, and to create a just and durable peace.
europe’s danger and British foreign policy
The Prime Minister did not demur, but resumed again his elaboration upon what a desperate situation Europe confronted at the hands of the Soviets if American forces were withdrawn from Europe. If his fears were justified, England, he proclaimed, would stand her ground alone, if she had to. England was not a negligible factor in world affairs. England could still protect herself. The difficulties of crossing the Channel and her mastery of the air, made her still invulnerable to attack. If need be, England would stand alone. She had done it before, etc. It was in line with his address to the House of Commons two weeks ago. I checked back in my files and quote it here. It is an authoritative definition of the classic policy of England as to Europe.
“We have had to hold out from time to time all alone, or to be the mainspring of coalitions, against a continental tyrant or dictator, and we have had to hold out for quite a long time … In all these world wars our islands kept the lead of Europe or else held out alone.”12
The Prime Minister is one of the greatest men of our time, and the greatest Englishman of this or any other time, in my opinion. But he is first and foremost an Englishman. He is still the King’s Minister who will not liquidate the Empire. He is still the great Briton of Runnymede and Dunkirk. He is superbly endowed and is a great advocate. He would be equally great in a courtroom, on the stage, or in any intellectual or fighting field. He was at his oratorical and powerful best.
When he finished I told him that he should not misconstrue the attitude of our President or of our people who held him and England always in great respect and infinite gratitude for “holding the fort” alone and saving the opportunity for ultimate victory over Hitler.
expression of my personal views
I then observed that much of this discussion, while intensely interesting, was not immediately relevant to the matter I had presented. But before we returned to that, I asked him whether he would bear with me sufficiently to hear my personal reactions to his views. I felt [Page 70] strongly on this situation. With his consent, I would like to speak with complete frankness, but always with great respect and friendliness. My “future was behind me”. There was no office which my doctors would permit me to hold. My only concern was to do what little I could to try to prevent once again the tragedy of winning a war, only to lose the peace. Generously, he asked me to go ahead and speak freely.
Then I told him frankly that I had been shocked beyond words to find so violent and bitter an attitude, and to find what appeared to me so violent a change in his attitude toward the Soviets. Its significance was appalling. It staggered me with the fear that there could be no peace. I had heard of such attitudes in Britain, but I had discounted these reports. Recently, a banker in San Francisco had come to tell me that a British officer, part of the British Delegation at the Conference,13 had declared publicly at a luncheon club and with feeling that the British and American Armies should not stop, but go right through and clean up the Red Army and destroy the Soviet menace now when we were at it. But in view of his past great statements with reference to the Soviets all during the war, I had found it difficult to bring myself to believe that I had heard him aright. No one, in the “dust and grime of the arena” (as he put it) had been publicly so generous, bold and fair, as had he, when, in the House of Commons only recently,14 he had declared that he “repudiated and repulsed” any suggestion that Britain had made “a questionable compromise in yielding to force or fear” and had forcefully then declared his “utmost conviction” in the broad justice of the Russian claim to the Curzon Line.15 He had never failed to give them credit for fidelity and great effectiveness during the war. I feared that the fears and suspicions of the Soviets as to the implacable hostility of the West, would harden into action if they knew of this attitude.
“legacies of suspicion”
No one knew better than did he, the Prime Minister, the “legacies of suspicion” under which the unity of the Allies had labored. The classic Bolshevik fear that they were surrounded by implacable, hostile nations; the many justifications of that suspicion through the long years of the twenties and the period of Munich, Prague, and Berlin, of the thirties; and the ideological, religious hatreds expressed in the forties against the Soviet Government, were all known to him; [Page 71] for he had labored mightily in Moscow in ’42, ’43, ’44, to allay their fears. That’s what made it so shocking and fearful to me.
I recalled briefly the diplomatic and military negotiations between the three Allies; the desperate Soviet pleas for a Second Front in ’41, ’42, ’43, and their bitter disappointment when the Germans were threatening Moscow, Stalingrad, and the Baku oil fields; their disappointment over the attitude of Britain and the U. S. in failing to recognize the reasonableness, justice, and fairness, of the Soviet position as to Poland, when there would be no Poland at all, except for the power of the Russian Army; of their feeling that they had not received the same consideration in the Polish matter from their Allies which they had extended, even as against their convictions, in “going along” with Britain and the U. S. in the recognition of Vichy in Africa, Badoglio and the King in Italy, and the domination of Britain in Greece. I recalled the inestimable service which he had rendered to preserve allied unity when, many times, he had gone to explain these things to Stalin in the Kremlin, and particularly when in 1942 he had entered into a twenty year treaty of alliance16 with Stalin to make no separate peace and to work together to win the war and also to restore and compose the peace of Europe after victory.
No one had done so much to allay the old “legacy of suspicion” which threatened allied unity during the war as had he.
The situation would be desperate indeed if it were he, who was to revive these threats to unity now. It was not the facts, so much as the interpretation of the facts, which might have a destructive effect upon all hope for a decent, just peace structure for humanity, even for the immediate years ahead.
If, after victory, the Soviet leadership were now to find an attitude so hostile as his attitude seemed to be, their memories would also undoubtedly revert to the Prime Minister’s historic hostility towards them in ’18 and ’19, when he was the spearhead of the attack against the plan of Lloyd George, Wilson, and Clemenceau, to try to compose the peace in Russia with a conference of the Russian factions on the Island of Lemnos.17 This memory, and the memory of his bitter personal attacks on them at that time, would have an additional impact upon their fears which might be disastrous.
If his present attitude were known to them, it would be more than sufficient explanation for their actions in Europe during the past several weeks. I referred specifically to their position as to the Berne [Page 72] negotiations for surrender of German troops,18 their attitude toward Austria, their sensitivity to the advance of American Forces beyond the zones of occupation agreed upon, their attitude toward the inclusion of the French on the Reparations Commission, contrary to their understanding of the Yalta agreement; and their suspicions that the Germans had secured some sort of understanding from Britain and ourselves because of alleged agreements with the Wehrmacht to let our armies through on the Western Front. These actions were explainable and from their position justified and necessary, if their fears were justified.
They would naturally take steps to protect themselves from a hostile Britain. They always acted with speed and decision and resolve all doubts in favor of their own security. He well knew how quickly they acted in ’39 to protect themselves when they found there was no hope of unity through collective security by an agreement with France and England when the Poles refused to permit the Red Army to join in the defense of Poland and fight with the Poles on the German borders only three weeks before Hitler attacked in September 1939.
His attitude placed not only the future, but possibly the immediate peace in real danger. To assume that we could win through a “tough” approach, in my opinion, would involve a terrific risk.
additional suspicion of a “ganging up”
If to such a situation there were added other suspicions that Great Britain and the U. S. were “ganging up” on them, the danger would be intensified. I referred to the situations at the San Francisco Conference where the vote had been so overwhelmingly against the Soviet position on the Argentine and other issues, and where the leadership of the opposition to the Soviets was that of England and the United States.
The deductions, probably unjustified, which the Soviets had drawn from the Argentine situation, were emphasized by the fact that the attitude of the American Government was a complete reversal of the attitude of President Roosevelt and Secretary Hull.19 It was only a few months ago that the liberal “Manchester Guardian” had bluntly stated that the British Government could not follow the American [Page 73] Government on sanctions directed against the Argentine because England’s “bread and butter” was involved. The Soviets might find it difficult to understand why the American Government had not only receded from its attitude on the Argentine, but was now a proponent of the British policy and actively leading the United Nations in what was practically a united front against the Soviets.
I said that frankly, as I had listened to him inveigh so violently against the threat of Soviet domination and the spread of Communism in Europe, and disclose such a lack of confidence in the professions of good faith in Soviet leadership, I had wondered whether he, the Prime Minister, was now willing to declare to the world that he and Britain had made a mistake in not supporting Hitler, for as I understood him, he was now expressing the doctrine which Hitler and Goebbels had been proclaiming and reiterating for the past four years in an effort to break up allied unity and “divide and conquer”. Exactly the same conditions which he described and the same deductions were drawn from them as he now appeared to assert.
I simply could not bring myself to believe that his considered judgment or expressions would ultimately confirm such an interpretation.
He heard me through, and with intentness. He said that he had been under very great pressure, that he had been just thinking out loud, and that the expressions might have been stronger than he had intended to convey. He said that he recognized the gravity of the immediate situation, that perhaps it would fall to a very few men to decide in the next few weeks the kind of life that would confront several generations to come.
american public opinion and armed forces in europe
As to the question of maintaining large armed American forces in Europe for an indefinite period, I gave him frankly my personal judgment, for such value as it might have. In my opinion, American armies would promptly be withdrawn to the occupational zones agreed upon. So far as holding large armed forces indefinitely in Europe in the present state of our public opinion, no President would be sustained by the country in such a decision, now or for some time to come.
There are many who believe that England, finding now no great rival power in Europe to offset the new rising power of Russia, would try to use American manpower and resources to support the classic British policy of “leading” Europe.
If agreements now entered into were clearly defined between the three great Powers and if such agreements were violated in such a way as to establish clearly that any great Power was bent on world domination hostile to the American way of life, then and only then, would the American people accept the possibility of having their armed [Page 74] forces fighting in Europe. The moral impact of such a situation only would bring our people to such a decision.
opinion as to soviet good faith
For such value as it might have, I wished to give him my judgment as to the Soviets. My opinion was that we could rely upon the good faith of the Soviet leaders: 1. to work for a practical Peace Structure; 2. to cooperate with Western Europe as good neighbors and not seek to proselyte Europe, to the degree that was consistent with her security as against a possible implacable religious, economic, or political hostility of Western neighbors.
Whether that was sound or not, in my judgment it was common sense to proceed on that assumption always and without undue risk, until the contrary was clearly established.
understanding as to meeting with Stalin
Reverting specifically to the meeting of the President with Marshal Stalin I said that I had been impressed by his point of view; and no less by his fairness in recognizing the reasonableness and good faith of the President’s position. I asked if he could not make some suggestion whereby the interests of both parties would be accommodated.
He reiterated that he could not possibly attend a meeting which was a continuation of a conference between the President and Marshal Stalin. He was, however, entirely sympathetic and agreeable to their having opportunities after they had all arrived together, to come to know each other through such discussions as they might desire. There would be plenty of opportunities for that before the business actually began, while preliminaries were being arranged and the agenda discussed and fixed.
I told him that I was gratified by his suggestion and felt confident that the President would acquiesce.
Previously he had said he would like to be “heard” personally by the President and had also suggested that I give him an Aide-Mémoire and that he also would give me one or that we would send a joint telegram with reference to the situation. I told him that I was agreeable to either procedure.
In a recent cable20 he had sent to the President I had noted that he had suggested confining the distribution of cables to the President and to his immediate advisors and the Secretary of State, and none others, because of “leaks”. I wondered whether this precaution could not [Page 75] be very well applied to this situation, since there was the possibility that potential harm could be done to his campaign if there were to be a leak. He asked who knew of the proposal. I told him that the matter had been confined to the President and only his immediate advisors and was safe as it now stood. Nevertheless, I was entirely agreeable to any suggestion he might make in this connection. So far as I was concerned, here in London I was discussing matters only with him, and would have no discussions with either members of his Government or with the opposition. I would depart immediately that was done. He thought that was good judgment.
He then asked that I have a talk with Eden and tell him all of what I had told him. He had telephoned Eden, and Eden had asked me to have lunch with him Monday.21
It was 4:30 Sunday morning when we retired. He took me to my bedroom door and said goodnight with cordiality and fine hospitality. When we parted, he said that he had appreciated my frankness and had really enjoyed the discussions with one who was “so familiar with European problems during these years”.
The following morning at 11 o’clock, upon his suggestion, I joined him for further conversations in his bedroom (he was sitting up in bed). He seemed to be still irked and troubled. He again reverted to the plight of Europe and the disaster that might result from withdrawal of American troops. He also came back to the question of the meeting with Stalin. I listened and finally suggested that I had assumed that this matter had been settled.
During lunch which followed, and in the presence of the Duke of Westminster and several others, the Prime Minister again berated the Communists and expatiated on the Communist “menace” vigorously.
I felt it unwise to engage in any discussion on the subject as he already knew my views; so I said nothing. He was still very much agitated.
After lunch we walked for a time in the garden and he again returned to the “desperate” conditions in Europe. He said that it probably would be wise to exchange Aides-Mémoires. That, I said, was entirely agreeable if he desired it, and I would have one ready for our next meeting. The Monday meeting was deferred until Tuesday afternoon, when we again met in his little sitting room at 10 Downing Street Annex. In the meantime I had concluded my talks with Eden. He said that he had talked with Eden since my meeting with the Foreign Minister and now was convinced that it was just as [Page 76] well not to exchange Aides-Mémoires22 Eden, he said, had said that I was confining my conversations exclusively to them, and had refused to hold press conferences or give statements to the press. We parted with cordiality. He insisted upon personally walking with me through the corridors to the front door of the building.
- The Prime Minister was tired, nervous, and obviously working under great stress. The vehemence and bitterness of his expressions would undoubtedly be much modified with considered judgment.
- He was favorably disposed to the suggestion of preliminary meeting, but as its possible effects upon his political campaign developed in his thought, he became very much disturbed. That the President himself had taken the initiative with a plan for the meeting with Stalin, despite the Prime Minister’s cable that he would “risk [Page 77] a snub by proposing to Marshal Stalin a tripartite meeting”;23 and that the President had courteously rejected some of his suggestions such as stopping in London en route to the meeting, and had probably been disturbed by the implications [sic].
- The Prime Minister is a very great man, but there is no doubt but that he is “first, last, and all the time” a great Englishman. I could not escape the impression that he was basically more concerned over preserving England’s position in Europe than in preserving Peace. In any event, he had convinced himself that by serving England, he was best serving Peace. He is also a great advocate, and uses with effect all the arts of negotiation.
- He was bitterly disappointed by the President’s decision and the fact that American troops were already being diverted from Europe to the Eastern Theatre, and would be withdrawn (retreat, as he called it) to the occupational zones agreed upon.
- He was bitterly hostile to the Soviets.
- His attitude must be known to or at least suspected by the Soviet Government. It is undoubtedly responsible for the suspicion voiced in the interchange of cables in connection with the surrender of German troops in Italy; the situation in Austria; the suspicion that secret arrangements had been made between the Germans and Allies on the Western Front at the expense of the Russians on the Eastern Front, and other troublesome situations. It could and does undoubtedly account for much of the aggressiveness and so-called unilateral action on the part of the Soviets since Yalta. They have not forgotten the frank speech of General Smuts.24 They are protecting their position.
- Back of all this, the Prime Minister is bedevilled by the consciousness that his Government no longer occupies its position of power and dominance in the world. He is resisting it gallantly and vigorously. As the King’s Minister he is doggedly maintaining the classic British policy in Europe. He saw that his hope of using American manpower and resources to sustain Britain’s “lead” in Europe was vanishing.
- Undoubtedly he is also fearful that in connection with entering into tripartite agreements of the Big Three, the idealisms of our people are apt to inject matters which on the continent may be unrealistic and which may develop serious problems and differences for the future. America’s abandonment of Europe would then leave Britain holding the bag alone. He undoubtedly still remembers our attitude in the Greek situation where he was left to fight alone in the [Page 78] “dust and grime of the arena”, as he expressed it in his bitter speech in Parliament.
- It had been his purpose, and so avowedly stated, to employ the presence of American forces and their position in advance of their lines, as trading material to induce concessions from the Soviets. His policy was based upon the “tough approach”. He was willing to run the great risk which such a gamble entails. His position probably justifies that risk.
- He, however, affirmatively asserts: 1. he will not oppose the American policy towards Russia. 2. he is entirely in accord with the policy of trying to exhaust all means consistent with self-respect to resolve the differences between the Big Three in order that unity may be preserved in order to maintain Peace after military victory. 3. he will agree to a meeting at the time and place which the President agrees upon with Marshal Stalin.
- The net result is, that the meeting of the President and Marshal Stalin, prior to the business meetings of the Conference, in order to afford an opportunity for them to get acquainted and assess each other, has been worked out upon the counter-suggestion of the Prime Minister,—as the President anticipated it would.
Another result of the mission is that the spearhead of the Prime Minister’s disappointments as to the attitude of this country was broken and considerably dulled. That much in anticipation of the coming meeting has been accomplished.
The matters explored with Foreign Minister Eden I will submit in an additional report.25
With great respect,
- This was Davies’ only official position in the United States Government at this time, although he acted as an adviser to the President before and during the Berlin Conference and as a special representative of the President on the mission to London described in this report and in document No. 34.↩
- Printed from an unsigned carbon copy which Davies sent to Secretary of State James F. Byrnes on July 3. This is the version of this report which Davies submitted to Truman under cover of a personal note of July 1, with the observation that the perusal of this report and of document No. 34 would “be of value to you [Truman] as an indication of the positions which you may expect to confront at the Berlin Conference (Truman Papers). In another version of this report in Department of State files (file No. 740.0011 EW/6–1245) there are a number of variations from the text here printed.↩
- This paper bears also the following typed notation: “For the President of the United States, for his immediate advisors and the Secretary of State only.”↩
- Davies has supplied the information, in an interview with a Department of State historian on May 21, 1954, that this report and document No. 34 were supplemental to an earlier oral report to Truman. Concerning this oral report, see Truman, Year of Decisions, pp. 260–262; William D. Leahy, I Was There: The Personal Story of the Chief of Staff to Presidents Roosevelt and Truman Based on His Notes and Diaries Made at the Time (New York, 1950), pp. 378–380; and James F. Byrnes, Speaking Frankly (New York, 1947), p. 64.↩
- May 26.↩
- document No. 1.↩
- See vol. ii, documents Nos. 1416 and 1417.↩
- The reference is to the refusal of French troops to withdraw from Stuttgart and from northwestern Italy under orders from the Supreme Allied Command. See Truman, Year of Decisions, pp. 238–240; Grew, Turbulent Era, vol. ii, pp. 1512–1517.↩
- For information on the Anglo-Soviet arrangement on spheres of influence here referred to, see Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Malta and Yalta, 1945, pp. 104–105.↩
- For further information on the Truman–Churchill exchanges on this subject, see Truman, Year of Decisions, pp. 213–216, 301–304; Churchill, Triumph and Tragedy, pp. 601–606.↩
- i. e., the protocol signed at London, September 12, 1944, as amended by a further agreement signed at London, November 14, 1944. For texts, see Treaties and Other International Acts Series No. 3071; United States Treaties and Other International Agreements, vol. 5, pt. 2, p. 2078; Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Malta and Yalta, 1945, pp. 118, 121.↩
- Ellipsis and emphasis in the source copy. The quoted passage is from a radio address by Churchill on May 13, 1945; text in Charles Eade, comp., The War Speeches of the Rt Hon Winston S. Churchill (London, 1952), vol. iii, p. 440.↩
- i. e., the United Nations Conference on International Organization.↩
- On February 27, 1945. See Parliamentary Debates: House of Commons Official Report, 5th series, vol. 408, col. 1277.↩
- For the origin and a description of the Curzon Line, see Foreign Relations, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919, vol. xiii, pp. 793–794. See also the map facing p. 748, post.↩
- Signed at London, May 26, 1942. Text in British and Foreign State Papers, vol. cxliv, p. 1038.↩
- See Winston S. Churchill, The Aftermath (London, 1929), pp. 169–177.↩
- For a narrative of the “Bern” conversations relating to the surrender of German forces in Italy, see Herbert Feis, Churchill–Roosevelt–Stalin: The War They Waged and the Peace They Sought (Princeton, 1957), pp. 583–596. See also Stalin’s Correspondence, vol. i, pp. 311–320, and vol. ii, pp. 198–214; The Italian Campaign, 12th December 1944 to 2nd May 1945: A Report to the Combined Chiefs of Staff by the Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean, Field-Marshal the Viscount Alexander of Tunis (London, His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1951), pp. 62–66.↩
- In the discussion concerning the seating of the Argentine Delegation at the United Nations Conference on International Organization, Molotov had quoted both Roosevelt and Hull in opposing the proposed admission of Argentina to the Conference. See The United Nations Conference on International Organization: Selected Documents, p. 317.↩
- The reference is to the last part (not printed) of document No. 1.↩
- See document No. 34.↩
For the text of a minute by Churchill on his conversation with Davies, see Churchill, Triumph and Tragedy, p. 578. Churchill states (p. 577) that this minute was given to Davies. In an interview with a Department of State historian on May 21, 1954, Davies stated categorically that the minute was not given to him and that the draft aide-mémoire which Davies had prepared was likewise not given to Churchill. The text of Davies’ draft aide-mémoire, dated at London, May 29, 1945, is as follows (copy supplied from the Davies Papers):
“As stated in the President’s letter [cable?] to you, he wished me to discuss and explore certain situations with the Prime Minister. That, he believed, would be more satisfactory than communication by cable.
“The President is concerned over serious deterioration in relations between Great Britain, the United States, and Russia. There can be no durable peace without continued unity. Everything that can honorably be done should be done to arrest and repair that situation.
“The achievement of durable peace, he believes, is still the objective of the peoples and Chiefs of State of the three countries. There are differences as to what the agreements at Yalta, etc. were and in the interpretation of other situations. These can be worked out only by a meeting of the Chiefs in an atmosphere of tolerance, consideration and confidence, similar to that which existed during the fighting.
“The vital objective now is to conserve peace after victory. He believes that a meeting must be had to clear up these disagreements and suspicions, and that exact understandings, both as to present and past, should be clearly defined. President Truman will scrupulously live up to the commitments of President Roosevelt and any others that will be entered into.
“Recent developments indicate that there has been aroused in the Soviets a groundless suspicion that there is a ‘ganging up’ against them. That has been aggravated, particularly, by the recent anti-Soviet propaganda in the United States, as well as by developments in Britain.
“Prime Minister and Mr. Eden have had the benefit of friendly association and contact with Marshal Stalin and Commissar Molotov on many occasions which would serve to alleviate such suspicions. The President has had no such personal contact with Premier Stalin. It would be helpful that he should have similar opportunity before the meeting to establish personal contact and relations with Marshal Stalin, so that both would have an opportunity to assess the motives and the reliability of the other.
“He would want to have the view of the Prime Minister personally on that situation before making a final decision, but assumes that he would recognize the desirability of such opportunity.
“The President feels confident that the Prime Minister will understand the spirit in which this is suggested, and will have complete confidence that he has no other purpose than that as above stated.”
- See document No. 10.↩
- The reference is probably to Smuts’ address of November 25, 1943, before the Empire Parliamentary Association. See Nicholas Mansergh, ed., Documents and Speeches on British Commonwealth Affairs, 1931–1952 (London, 1953), vol. i, p. 568.↩
- document No. 34.↩