This introduction deals with the scope of, the sources for, and the problems of editorial treatment met in the compilation of volume I of Foreign Relations, The Conference of Berlin (The Potsdam Conference), 1945. A separate introduction relating to the contents of volume II will be found in that volume.

Organization and Scope

Because the annual volumes for 1945 in the Foreign Relations series have not yet been issued, the editors considered it essential to make available to the reader a considerable amount of background material necessary for an understanding of the proceedings of the Berlin Conference. This entire volume is devoted to pre-Conference documents.

The first section of the volume presents information (a) on Prime Minister Churchill’s suggestion of May 6, 1945, that a tripartite meeting of Heads of Government of the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Soviet Union should be held and on the discussions which ensued on this subject in the weeks immediately following that suggestion, and (b) on the conversations which Harry Hopkins had with Marshal Stalin in Moscow and those which Joseph E. Davies had with Prime Minister Churchill and Foreign Minister Eden at Chequers and in London with respect to international problems of mutual concern. The Hopkins and Davies missions are recorded in some detail, since these conversations were conducted with the impending meeting of Heads of Government in view and since they explored Anglo-American and Soviet-American differences of opinion on subjects which were to be discussed by the Heads of Government.

The second section presents information on the final physical arrangements made for the Berlin Conference, on the appointment of delegations to the Conference, and on preparation of the agenda for the Conference.

In the third section are printed a number of reports submitted to the Secretary of State or the President before the Berlin Conference for their general background in connection with the forthcoming meeting, but not pointed toward any particular subject expected to arise during the international discussions.

The fourth, and by far the longest, section—about three quarters of the volume—presents information (a) on the recommendations [Page X] made to the President before the Berlin Conference with respect to the numerous questions discussed at the Conference; (b) on background reports submitted to the President on those questions; and (c) on international developments relating to those subjects which took place during the month immediately preceding the opening of the meeting of Heads of Government, specifically from June 18 to July 15, 1945.

The papers printed in the fourth section are arranged by subject. Under each subject heading the general background materials and recommendations, if any, which were submitted to the President are printed first, usually beginning with the principal memorandum on the subject submitted by the Department of State. Other background material reached the President, however, from his own staff and from committees of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and in some cases the orderly presentation of the background information required that a paper from one of these sources precede the memorandum or memoranda prepared in the Department of State. The background papers have been placed first under each subject heading, regardless of the date of their preparation, because many of them review the history of the problem under discussion and lay a foundation for the papers which follow.

The papers which follow the background material were selected with the aim of giving the reader a good knowledge of the status of the particular problem when the Berlin Conference began. It was obviously impossible, within a single volume, to present a full and detailed documentary history, covering an extended period, of each question to be discussed at the Conference. Many of these questions will receive that type of detailed treatment when the annual volumes of Foreign Relations for the year 1945 are issued. Pending the publication of those volumes, the student of the Berlin Conference will have to turn to other sources if he wishes to study its background in depth, and to include in his study international crises and developments in the early months of 1945 which had been solved or which had sufficiently abated before the Berlin Conference met so that no discussion of them took place at that Conference (and which, therefore, are outside the scope of this volume). Much important background information is, of course, to be found in the special Foreign Relations volume entitled “The Conferences at Malta and Yalta, 1945”. In addition, the reader may wish to refer to the weekly Department of State Bulletin and to the authoritative sources listed below which are available as of November 1959. The Department of State, in listing these volumes here, takes no responsibility for the entire accuracy of their treatment of the events of 1945 nor, of course, for their interpretation of those events.

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James F. Byrnes, All in One Lifetime (New York, Harper and Brothers, 1958).

James F. Byrnes, Speaking Frankly (New York, Harper and Brothers, 1947).

Winston S. Churchill, Triumph and Tragedy (volume VI of The Second World War) (Boston, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1953).

John R. Deane, The Strange Alliance: The Story of Our Efforts at Wartime Cooperation With Russia (New York, The Viking Press, 1947).

John Ehrman, Grand Strategy, volume VI (a volume in History of the Second World War: United Kingdom Military Series) (London, Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1956).

“The Entry of the Soviet Union Into the War Against Japan: Military Plans, 1941–1945” (Washington, Department of Defense, 1955).

Herbert Feis, ChurchillRooseveltStalin: The War They Waged and the Peace They Sought (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1957).

Leland M. Goodrich and Marie J. Carroll, eds., Documents on American Foreign Relations, July 1944–June 1945 (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1947).

Joseph C. Grew, Turbulent Era: A Diplomatic Record of Forty Years, 1904–1945 (Boston, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1952).

Cordell Hull, The Memoirs of Cordell Hull (New York, The Macmillan Company, 1948).

George Kirk, Survey of International Affairs, 1939–1946: The Middle East, 1945–1950 (London, Oxford University Press, 1954).

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, Whittlesey House, 1950).

William H. McNeill, Survey of International Affairs, 1939–1946: America, Britain, and Russia, Their Co-operation and Conflict, 1941–1946 (London, Oxford University Press, 1953).

Harley A. Notter, Postwar Foreign Policy Preparation, 1939–1945 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1949; Department of State publication No. 3580).

Robert E. Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins: An Intimate History (New York, Harper and Brothers, 1948).

Stalin’s Correspondence With Churchill, Attlee, Roosevelt and Truman, 1941–45 (New York, E. P. Dutton and Company, 1958). (This volume constitutes a reissue in the United States of an official publication of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union. For fuller bibliographic information, see document No. 1, footnote 3, and document No. 21, footnote 1.)

Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., Roosevelt and the Russians: The Yalta Conference, ed. by Walter Johnson (Garden City, Doubleday and Company, 1949).

Henry L. Stimson and McGeorge Bundy, On Active Service in Peace and War (New York, Harper and Brothers, 1947).

Arnold and Veronica M. Toynbee, eds., Survey of International Affairs, 1939–1946: Hitler’s Europe (London, Oxford University Press, 1954).

Arnold and Veronica M. Toynbee, eds., Survey of International Affairs, 1939–1946: The Realignment of Europe (London, Oxford University Press, 1955).

Harry S. Truman, Year of Decisions (volume I of Memoirs by Harry S. Truman) (Garden City, Doubleday and Company, 1955).

The reader may also wish to refer to other works on narrower subjects which were of prime importance in early 1945.

Within the scope described above, the present volume documents the international developments on subjects later discussed at the [Page XII] Berlin Conference according to the usual regulations applicable to the Foreign Relations series, viz.:

045 Documentary Record of American Diplomacy

045.1 Scope of Documentation

The publication Foreign Relations of the United States, Diplomatic Papers, constitutes the official record of the foreign policy of the United States. These volumes include, subject to necessary security considerations, all documents needed to give a comprehensive record of the major foreign policy decisions within the range of the Department of State’s responsibilities, together with appropriate materials concerning the facts which contributed to the formulation of policies. When further material is needed to supplement the documentation in the Department’s files for a proper understanding of the relevant policies of the United States, such papers should be obtained from other Government agencies.

045.2 Editorial Preparation

The basic documentary diplomatic record to be printed in Foreign Relations of the United States, Diplomatic Papers, shall be edited by the Historical Office of the Department of State. The editing of the record shall be guided by the principles of historical objectivity. There shall be no alteration of the text, no deletions without indicating where in the text the deletion was made, and no omission of facts which were of major importance in reaching a decision. Nothing shall be omitted for the purpose of concealing or glossing over what might be regarded by some as a defect of policy. However, certain omissions of documents or parts of documents are permissible for the following reasons:

To avoid publication of matters which would tend to impede current diplomatic negotiations or other business.
To condense the record and avoid repetition of needless details.
To preserve the confidence reposed in the Department by individuals and by foreign governments.
To avoid giving needless offense to other nationalities or individuals.
To eliminate personal opinions presented in despatches and not acted upon by the Department. To this consideration there is one qualification—in connection with major decisions it is desirable, where possible, to show the alternatives presented to the Department before the decision was made.

In presenting the documentation on Conference subjects from June 18 to July 15, 1945, no effort has been made to bring the bulk of documentation on a given subject in the immediate pre-Conference period into proportion with the extent of the discussion or the importance of the subject at the Conference. On some major Conference subjects, such as Germany, the bulk of pre-Conference documentation and of Conference discussion is great. On other subjects, however, such as the Balkans and Tangier, there was great diplomatic activity in the immediate pre-Conference period which is fully reflected in this volume, although the amount of discussion of these problems at the Conference itself was relatively small.

When the editors have felt that the documentation of developments during the last month before the Berlin Conference, under the standards described above, taken with the Briefing Book papers and other [Page XIII] background material, did not present an adequate picture of the status of an individual question on the eve of the Conference, key documents of earlier date have been quoted or summarized in the footnotes in this volume.

In accordance with the regulation quoted above, because the Berlin Conference dealt importantly with military as well as political problems, the Department of State asked for and received the cooperation of the Department of Defense in locating and releasing for publication documents relating to the military aspects of the Conference, So far as this volume is concerned, this type of material consists of papers documenting the official position or advice of the War and Navy Departments on politico-military subjects later discussed at the international level at the Berlin Conference, as presented by the civilian leaders of those Departments and by the military chiefs in their capacity as members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Combined Chiefs of Staff. In addition, some papers originating with or transmitted by military authorities below these levels have been included in order to clarify references in other papers or to set forth information pertinent to the Conference given to the President or his principal advisers but inadequately reflected in Department of State papers.


The papers printed in this volume (except for a very few items reprinted from published sources) were drawn from the following files and collections of official and private papers:

a. inside the department of state

Indexed Central Files—Papers in the indexed Central Files of the Department of State are indicated by a file number in the headnote, in the usual style of Foreign Relations volumes. The most important single item from the indexed Central Files used in preparing this volume was a “Briefing Book”—actually five notebooks of background information and recommendations—prepared in the Department of State for the guidance of the Secretary of State and the President. This “Briefing Book” bears a single file number, and papers drawn from it are identified not only by that number but also by the editor’s heading “Briefing Book Paper”. A considerable number of documents (such as the translations of Japanese Foreign Ministry papers printed on pages 874883) were not originally in the Central Files of the Department but have now been indexed and deposited in the Central Files.
Staff Committee Files—A collection of unindexed papers in the Records Service Center of the Department containing the minutes and documents of the Secretary’s Staff Committee, a body which included [Page XIV] the Secretary of State and the Assistant Secretaries, or their representatives.
Coordinating Committee Files—A collection of unindexed papers in the Records Service Center containing documents of the Coordinating Committee, a body which included the Under Secretary of State and officials of the Department at the level of office director.
IPCOG Files—A collection of unindexed papers in the Records Service Center containing the papers pertaining to the interdepartmental Informal Policy Committee on Germany.
Pauley Files—A collection of unindexed papers in the Records Service Center containing the office files of the United States Representative on the Allied Commission on Reparations, Edwin W. Pauley.
Moscow Embassy Files—The files for 1945, now in the Records Service Center, of the American Embassy at Moscow.
London Embassy Files—The files for 1945, now in the Records Service Center, of the American Embassy at London.
Frankfurt USPolAd Files—The files for 1945, now in the Records Service Center, of the Office of the United States Political Adviser at Frankfurt.
L/T Files—The office files of the Assistant Legal Adviser for Treaty Affairs.
S/AE Files—The office files of the Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for Disarmament and Atomic Energy.

b. outside the department of state

Truman Papers—The private papers of former President Harry S. Truman. Photocopies of some of these papers were obtained by the Department of State while Mr. Truman was still in office, and others were obtained from Mr. Truman’s office in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1956.
Leahy Papers—A collection of official papers, now in the custody of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, from the office of the Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, the late Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy.
J.C.S. Files—The files of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. These files provided not only Joint Chiefs of Staff material but also Combined Chiefs of Staff documentation. The approval of the British Chiefs of Staff, along with that of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, was obtained for the declassification of Combined Chiefs of Staff documentation.
Department of the Army Files—These files provided, for this volume, several messages exchanged between United States Army officers in the field and the War Department.
White House Files—The list of the President’s party printed as document No. 115 came from the files of the White House.
Davies Papers—A few gaps in the pre-Conference period were filled from the private papers of the late Joseph E. Davies.
It should be noted that the Harry Hopkins papers in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library at Hyde Park, New York, were searched, through the cooperation of the Director of the Library, Herman Kalm, for papers concerning Mr. Hopkins’ mission to Moscow in May and June 1945, but nothing pertinent to this volume was found which was not already available in the Department of State.

Editorial Treatment

Headings—The data appearing in the headings of the original documents (place, date, addressee, method and priority of transmission, and classification) have been harmonized by the editors into a reasonably standard pattern in the headings as printed herein. Any substantive titles appearing on the original documents have been retained.

Classification and priority indicators—The classification of documents (top secret, secret, confidential, restricted, or plain) and the priority indicators on telegrams (U. S. urgent, operational priority, priority, and routine) are included in the printed headings if such information appears on the documents themselves. It should be noted, however, that in 1945 many documents were not given any formal classification although they were handled as if classified.

Numbering of documents—For convenience in the identification of papers during the process of compilation, and as an experiment in format, the individual papers in this volume and in its companion volume (except for minutes and notes of proceedings) have been assigned document numbers, and cross references for the most part are made to documents by number rather than by page. In order to assist the reader in locating papers easily by document number, the editors have inserted in brackets at the foot of each odd-numbered page (unless a new chapter or section begins on such a page) the document number assigned to the last paper which appears on that page.

Extracts—The headnote “Extract” or “Extracts” indicates that less than half of the entire document is printed under a particular document number. Points are used in all documents to indicate omissions—three points for omissions of less than a paragraph and a line of seven points for omissions of a paragraph or more.

Signatures—Signatures as printed in this volume follow the source copy. If a document is printed from an original bearing a holograph signature with no points, it will appear with the signature “Harry S Truman”. If, on the other hand, it is printed from a typed source [Page XVI] copy in which points were used, it will appear with the signature “Harry S. Truman”.

Signing officers—All telegraphic instructions of the Department of State are issued over the name of the Secretary, the Secretary ad interim, or the Acting Secretary, although in many cases the name of that officer is actually signed by an appropriate official of lower rank who subscribes his own initials. In the telegrams sent by the Department which are printed in this volume, such initials have been retained as part of the signature, with a bracketed indication in each case of the identity of the signing officer. Similarly, in the case of those third-person communications which are customarily initialed rather than signed, the initials appearing on the original documents have been retained, and a bracketed indication of the name of the initialing officer has been added.

Real addressees and originators—When telegrams printed in this volume contain an internal caption indicating that they were to or from a specific individual other than the formal addressee or signer, the editor’s heading is based on this internal caption, on the assumption (for example) that it would confuse the reader to head a telegram from the President to the British Prime Minister as “President Truman to the Naval Attaché in the United Kingdom” merely because the original document is cast in that form. In such cases, the formal addressee and signer, where they differ from the real addressee and originator, are indicated in footnotes.

Typographical errors—Obvious typographical errors have been corrected except in signed international agreements, which are printed literatim. All permissible variations in spelling, however, have been retained as in the original text.

Romanization—In all material provided by the editors (front matter, document headings, and footnotes) names of individuals from countries using non-roman alphabets have been romanized consistently in the normal Foreign Relations style. In the documents themselves, however, the editors have not altered whatever system (or lack thereof) the originators of the individual documents used to romanize proper names.

Identification of persons mentioned—Individuals mentioned by title or position in the documents have been identified in footnotes, where such identification was possible, at least once in every section or subsection of this volume, unless their identification is clear from the editor’s headings or from the text of the documents themselves. Fuller identification of individuals mentioned by name only will be found in a List of Persons Mentioned, beginning on page xxv .

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Translations—Translations printed in this volume are contemporary with the original documents unless it is specifically noted that they have been prepared especially for this volume.

Telegrams to and from special missions—Telegrams sent by the Department to special missions in care of a regular diplomatic post, and those transmitted by special missions to the Department through the facilities of a regular diplomatic post, were usually assigned serial numbers in the regular series of messages exchanged with the diplomatic post. The telegram numbers on messages to and from the United States Representative on the Allied Commission on Reparations are thus to be construed (to give an example of this practice) as the numbers which these messages were assigned in the chronological sequence of the entire exchange of telegrams between the Department of State and the American Embassy at Moscow.

Citations—In citing to documents already officially published in multiple sources, the editors in general have given citations to Foreign Relations volumes, the Department of State Bulletin, the various series of treaties and international agreements published by the Department, and the Statutes at Large, in preference to citations to other official publications. Individual readers, however, may find it more convenient, in locating the texts cited, to look for them in other official compilations, such as A Decade of American Foreign Policy: Basic Documents, 1941–49 (Senate document No. 123, 81st Congress, 1st Session); The Axis in Defeat: A Collection of Documents on American Policy Toward Germany and Japan (Department of State publication No. 2423); Occupation of Germany: Policy and Progress (publication No. 2783); Making the Peace Treaties, 1941–1947 (publication No. 2774); and In Quest of Peace and Security: Selected Documents on American Foreign Policy, 1941–1951 (publication No. 4245). Many of the previously published documents cited in this volume are to be found in unofficial publications as well.

Papers cited as “not printed”—It is to be assumed that some papers annotated in the present volume as “not printed” will eventually be printed in the annual Foreign Relations volumes for 1945.

Index—The index beginning on page 1057 pertains to this volume only. Volume II of Foreign Relations, The Conference of Berlin (The Potsdam Conference), 1945, is indexed separately.