Truman Papers

No. 1282
President Truman to Generalissimo Stalin

Memorandum for Generalissimo Stalin

In response to your suggestion1 that I write you a letter as to the Far Eastern situation, I am attaching a form of letter which I propose to send you at your convenience after you notify me you have reached an agreement with the Government of China.2 If this is satisfactory to you, you can let me know immediately when you have reached such agreement and I will wire you the letter, to be used as you see fit. I will also send you by fastest courier the official letter, signed by me. If you decide to use it it will be all right. However, if you decide to issue a statement basing your action on other grounds or for any other reason prefer not to use this letter it will be satisfactory to me. I leave it to your good judgment.3

Harry S. Truman
[Attachment]
[Draft of Letter From President Truman to Generalissimo Stalin]4

Dear Generalissimo Stalin: Paragraph 5 of the Declaration signed at Moscow, October 30, 19435 by the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and China, provides:

“5. That for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security pending the reestablishment of law and order and the inauguration of a system of general security, they will consult with one another and as occasion requires with other members of the United Nations with a view to joint action on behalf of the community of nations.”

Article 106 of the proposed Charter of the United Nations6 provides:

“Pending the coming into force of such special agreements referred to in Article 43 as in the opinion of the Security Council enable it to [Page 1334]begin the exercise of its responsibilities under Article 42, the parties to the Four-Nation Declaration, signed at Moscow, October 30, 1943, and France, shall, in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 5 of that Declaration, consult with one another and as occasion requires with other Members of the United Nations with a view to such joint action on behalf of the Organization as may be necessary for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security.”

Article 103 of the Charter provides:

“In the event of a conflict between the obligations of the Members of the United Nations under the present Charter and their obligations under any other international agreement, their obligations under the present Charter shall prevail.”

Though the Charter has not been formally ratified, at San Francisco it was agreed to by the Representatives of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the Soviet government will be one of the permanent members of the Security Council.

It seems to me that under the terms of the Moscow Declaration and the provisions of the Charter, above referred to, it would be proper for the Soviet Union to indicate its willingness to consult and cooperate with other great powers now at war with Japan with a view to joint action on behalf of the community of nations to maintain peace and security.

Sincerely yours,

[No signature]
  1. See ante, p. 476.
  2. Stalin had told Truman on July 17 that the Soviet Union would need to complete its pending negotiations with China before entering the war against Japan. See pod, p. 1585. Cf. ante, p. 476.
  3. The Department of State was notified on November 17, 1950, by George M. Elsey, Administrative Assistant to the President, that Truman’s files in the White House had been searched and that there was no record whatsoever of any subsequent exchange with Stalin relating to this memorandum. Cf. the Soviet declaration of war on Japan quoted in footnote 1 to document No. 1382.
  4. For information on the preparation of this draft letter, see Byrnes, Speaking Frankly, pp. 208–209; Byrnes, All in One Lifetime, p. 298. Leahy (I Was There, p. 424) states that Truman handed it to Stalin at the Plenary Meeting on July 31.
  5. Full text in Department of State Bulletin, vol. ix, p. 308.
  6. Treaty Series No. 993; 59 Stat. (2) 1031.