Truman Papers

No. 1170
The Joint Chiefs of Staff to the President

top secret

Memorandum for the President

In the past we have experienced considerable delay in travel of individuals and important official mail between the United States and Moscow. This situation is now susceptible to considerable improvement if the air connection point were shifted from Tehran to Berlin.

Experience has shown that the Russians are extremely hesitant in coming to any agreements with foreign countries regarding air travel for fear of establishing precEdents that might carry over into the postwar period. Efforts to obtain Soviet agreement to a Berlin connecting point have been made without success by both our military and diplomatic representatives.

There is a good likelihood that Marshal Stalin would accede to a personal request made by you, and it is recommended that you either send the attached letter1 to Mr. Stalin or discuss the matter with him along the lines indicated.

For the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
William D Leahy

Fleet Admiral, U. S. Navy, Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy.
  1. Document No. 1171. This paper bears the following manuscript notation by Leahy: “Letter delivered to Stalin 20 July W. D. L.