Mr. Molotov presented his report as rapporteur of the morning meeting of the Foreign Ministers which was as follows:1
“1. Economic Policy for Germany.
“Mr. Molotov said that notice had been taken by the Foreign Ministers of the fact that the subcommittee which was dealing with the question of economic policy for Germany had not yet reported.
“2. Polish Question.
“The Foreign Ministers also noted that the committee on this question had not finished its work and they decided to ask it to finish its report by July 21.
“3. Peace Settlement.
“Since the subcommittee instructed to prepare the draft on this subject had not had time to finish its work the Foreign Ministers had arranged to meet just before the present session and had agreed upon a text which they would submit to the present meeting.
“Mr. Molotov read the revised text of paragraph 3 of the document on this question (attachment l).2
“4. Implementation of the Yalta Declaration on Liberated Areas.3
“Continuing the reading of his report Mr. Molotov said that at the meeting of the Foreign Ministers he had submitted a Soviet draft proposal on this question.4 As a result the situation in Rumania and Bulgaria was discussed on the one hand and the situation in Greece on the other. The discussion revealed the different views held by the Foreign Ministers. Mr. Byrnes proposed that an agreement be concluded by the Big Three with regard to the supervision of elections in Bulgaria, Greece, Rumania, and Hungary; with assurances for the free admission of the press into these countries with opportunity to move freely and to be able freely to send in their reports. Mr. Eden associated himself with the proposal. Mr. Molotov had no reason for an agreement on this subject with reference to Bulgaria and Rumania. So far as Greece was concerned the Soviet delegation had submitted a document on this subject. If the United States and Great Britain wished to submit proposals in writing on this subject they could be considered.”
The President interrupted to state that he had understood that Mr. Molotov had agreed in principle that an agreement be drawn up.
Mr. Molotov replied that he wanted to discuss the proposals which Mr. Eden and Mr. Byrnes intended to submit. So far no proposals had been submitted.[Page 166]
Mr. Byrnes rejoined that he had understood Mr. Molotov to agree on the necessity of drawing up an agreement and that it was merely a question of drafting.
Mr. Molotov replied that he had literally stated that since Mr. Byrnes and Mr. Eden were anxious to submit their proposals the Soviet delegation was prepared to discuss them.
Mr. Churchill intervened to state that in his opinion this should be done but that the word “supervision” should not be used as the British had not contemplated control of the elections.
The President said that he had no desire to superintend elections in these countries.
Mr. Byrnes suggested that “observe” would be a better word.
Mr. Churchill explained that the British wished to know what went on; they would not wish to have responsibility for the elections.
There being no further discussion, Mr. Molotov proceeded to read the next point in his report which related to Italy.
“Mr. Byrnes proposed that there be submitted for decision to the three Heads of Government a proposal that they support the entry of Italy into the United Nations Organization and that they not support the entry of Spain while that country was under its present regime.5 Mr. Eden supported this proposal and said that if any declaration of the three powers was made on this subject the British declaration [delegation] would also support association with the United Nations of neutrals such as Switzerland, Portugal, and Sweden. Mr. Molotov had inquired if this would extend to the states which had become cobelligerents. Mr. Eden had replied that he was ready to discuss this question but that in his opinion the entry of these countries into the United Nations Organization could occur only after peace treaties had been contracted with them. This question had been submitted to the subcommittee consisting of Mr. Matthews, Mr. Cannon, Mr. [Hoyer] Millar, Mr. Dean, Mr. Maisky, and Mr. Gusev.
“6. Western Frontier of Poland.
“Mr. Molotov had submitted the proposals of the Soviet Government for the establishment of the western frontier of Poland with a relative map.6 It was agreed that this question should be taken up by the Heads of Government at the present meeting on July 20.
“Mr. Molotov had submitted the Soviet proposals on this subject7 and it had been decided to refer it to the Heads of Government at the present meeting.
“8. Agenda of Meeting of Heads of Government, July 20.
“Mr. Molotov said that the Foreign Ministers had then drawn up the agenda for the present meeting of the Heads of Government which was as follows: [Page 167]
- “1. Procedure for Peace Settlements.
- 2. Policy toward Italy.
- 3. Situation in Austria, Particularly in Vienna.
- 4. Western Boundary of Poland.
- 5. Trusteeship.”
Mr. Churchill raised a point of procedure and suggested that the meeting of Heads of Government be fixed for five o’clock in the afternoon.
This was agreed to.
The President said he would also like to suggest that the Foreign Ministers not prolong their meetings and that they submit their reports not later than three o’clock in the afternoon.
I . Procedure for Peace Settlements
The American document on this subject with paragraph 3 as revised at the morning [afternoon?] meeting of the Foreign Ministers was approved.8
The President remarked that the only remaining questions on this subject were those of the time and place of the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers.
Mr. Eden added that there was the question of the secretariat.
The President said he was willing to refer these questions to the Foreign Ministers to decide.
Mr. Churchill said he was pleased for the question to be discussed but he also held a clear opinion that the Council should have London as a permanent home of the secretariat. Meetings could be held elsewhere if necessary. He pointed out that London was the Allied capital which had been most under fire of the enemy and the longest in the war. It was, he believed, the largest city in the world, although there might be some dispute about this, and it was one of the oldest. Moreover it was more nearly half way between the United States and Russia than any location on the continent.
Stalin interrupted to say that the geographic position was the most important question.
Churchill remarked that he had six times crossed the Atlantic during the war and that he had also visited Moscow on several occasions. With the exception of Mr. Molotov’s visit, Great Britain had not been used as a meeting ground in the whole of this war. There was strong feeling in London on this matter and he would ask Mr. Attlee to add a word in support of his position.
Mr. Attlee said he entirely agreed with the Prime Minister and added that they had a right to see some of these famous people in England. British people had suffered very much and attached [Page 168]importance to this matter. He also thought that the geographic argument was a very strong one.
The President said that he also agreed and he felt that the United States had had its share by being host to the recent San Francisco Conference. He also thought that the geographic position was important.
Stalin said that he agreed.
The President said he did not want what he had said to preclude his inviting the Heads of Government to the United States.
Mr. Churchill thanked the President and Marshal Stalin for their courteous acceptance of his suggestion.
The President said he thought the Foreign Ministers should take steps to insure that France and China take part in the Council of Foreign Ministers.
Stalin said he agreed.
The President noted that the timing of the meeting of the Council was left for the decision of the Foreign Ministers.
II . Policy Toward Italy
The President said he had handed in a paper on this subject on the first day.9 It is proper to recognize the contribution which Italy has made to defeat Germany. In this document he had suggested that the short terms of surrender10 and the obsolete clauses of the long terms11 be terminated and he had proposed that they be replaced by the following undertakings on the part of the Italian Government:
“1. That the Italian government will refrain from any hostile action against any of the United Nations pending the conclusion of the treaty of peace.
“2. That the Italian government will maintain no military, naval or air forces or equipment, except as authorized by the Allies, and will comply with all instructions on the subject of such forces and equipment.
“Under this interim arrangement, control of Italy should be retained only so far as is necessary:
- “a. To cover Allied military requirements, so long as Allied forces remain in Italy or operate therefrom.
- “b. To safeguard the equitable settlement of territorial disputes.”
Stalin said it would be well for the three Foreign Ministers to discuss this question. He had no objections in principle, but it [Page 169]might well be that certain drafting amendments and improvements would be necessary. It would be advisable to refer this paper for final consideration of the Foreign Ministers and to ask them to discuss preliminaries [sic] with the question of Italy the other satellite states of Finland, Hungary, Rumania and Bulgaria. They had no grounds to single out the question of Italy in the consideration from the other satellites. There is no doubt that Italy was the first to surrender, but she had helped Germany. It was true that the forces she supplied were small but they had helped. She now proposed to come into the war against Japan which counted in her favor. The day after the surrender these countries had moved their troops into action against Germany. Bulgaria had sent eight divisions against Germany and Rumania had sent ten or twelve. He was bound to say that these divisions had fought well. With reference to Finland, he said that this country had not given much support against Germany, but her behavior had been all right. It would also be well to improve and facilitate her position. The same thing applied to Hungary. It would, therefore, be well in improving the position of Italy if they would also improve the position of the other satellite states and throw them all together. If his colleagues agreed, his proposal was that the three Foreign Ministers be instructed to examine the question of improving the situation of Italy and of the other satellite states.
The President pointed out that his reason for bringing up the question of Italy was that Italy was the first to surrender and that the armistice terms imposed upon Italy had been more harsh than those imposed upon the other satellite states. He agreed with Marshal Stalin that the question of the other satellite states should be taken up. He had taken up Italy first for the reasons given and he agreed with Marshal Stalin’s proposals.
Mr. Churchill said that the British position with regard to Italy was not quite the same as that of his two honored colleagues. The British had been attacked by Italy in June 1940. They had suffered very heavily in naval losses in the Mediterranean and heavy losses in Africa at a moment when they were in very grave danger themselves. Their losses in warships in the Mediterranean had been very heavy, as had been their land casualties on the North African shore, when Italy put troops in there. Moreover, without help they had had to undertake the campaign in Abyssinia which had restored the Emperor to his country. Detachments of Italian planes had also been sent to bombard London. It should also not be forgotten that Italy had made a dastardly attack upon Greece; just before the war began Italy had made a lawless attack upon Albania and had seized that country. All this had occurred when the British were alone. He [Page 170]said he mentioned this because he thought it should be remembered and in order that it could not be said that they had not suffered most grievously at the hands of Italy. Moreover, he was bound to state that they could not acquit the Italian people of responsibility any more than they could acquit Germany, because it had come under the control of Hitler. Nevertheless, they had endeavored to keep alive the idea of the renewal of Italy as one of the important powers in Europe and the Mediterranean. When he had gone there a year ago he had made a series of proposals to President Roosevelt, the bulk of which with some improvement made by the President were embodied in a joint declaration.12 He had said this to show that he was not against Italy nor motivated by a feeling of vengeance. When it was agreed, as was decided at Tehran,13 to divide the Italian fleet between the three powers, or that if a division were not made the Soviet Union would receive a corresponding number of ships, of the fifteen ships provided the British had contributed fourteen, including the HMS Royal Sovereign and four submarines of a new type. He repeated that he mentioned all this to show the injuries they had received and that they were prepared to proceed in a broad manner with respect to the question of Italy’s future.
He had seen it said that they were hostile to Italy. It had been said when they spoke against Count Sforza that they wished to see Italy plunged into misfortune. He repudiated these press statements. He spoke in the name of his government and with a clean heart. He was anxious to join with the President and the Marshal in the principle of making a gesture to the Italian people who have suffered terribly and have aided in expelling the Germans from their land.
They did not dissent from the proposal to make a peace with Italy. This work will certainly take several months, however, and one wonders whether a general peace conference will be so far away when that work is finished. He also noticed that the Italian Government at the present time had no democratic foundation derived from free and unfettered elections. It simply consists of politicians who call themselves leaders of different political parties. It was the intention of the Italian Government, he understood, to hold elections before the winter. While he agreed that the Council of Foreign Ministers should start on this work of preparing the peace treaty, he thought it was not advisable that they come to a final conclusion until the Italian Government rests on a democratic foundation. Meanwhile, he was not in full agreement with the memorandum of the United States Delegation on the interim measures providing that [Page 171]the long and short terms of the armistice be withdrawn and replaced by an interim arrangement pending the conclusion of a final peace treaty. No government could be depended upon to carry out its undertakings if it were without a democratic foundation chosen by its people. If their existing rights in Italy were abolished, the long and short armistice terms withdrawn, and there was a considerable interval before the peace settlement, they should have lost their power to enforce their rights except by the use of force. He added that no one wanted to use force. They were entitled to receive from Italy compliance with the various terms which they had the right to ask from her. He pointed out that there would be a gap or a hiatus between the withdrawal of the armistice terms and the time when Italy would have a responsible government which could conclude a peace treaty.
He said, for example, that paragraph one of the American proposal which describes the undertakings which the Italian Government would give does not cover the future of the Italian fleet, the Italian colonies, the question of reparations and other important points. If they lost their existing rights under the surrender in the interval, they would not have the power to secure the peace to which they were entitled.
Finally, he must venture to submit to the President that the terms of surrender have been signed by a great many other people. Australia and New Zealand had lost many dead on African soil. The Greeks had, of course, also lost many men, but other countries had signed the armistice terms as well. He did not wish today to go further than to assent in principle to a peace treaty and he should be glad if it received priority by the Council of Foreign Ministers.
With regard to the other countries he was bound to say that Bulgaria had no claim to regard from Britain. It had struck them a blow and had done them all the harm it possibly could. It was not for him to say what the Bulgarians had done against the Russians. Bulgaria had hardly suffered at all in this war. She lay crouching in the Balkans, fawning on German aid. She had also committed many cruelties in Greece and Yugoslavia. She had prevented Turkey’s entry into the war when this would have been most helpful. There had been no proposal to disarm Bulgaria; on the contrary, he believed Bulgaria had some fifteen divisions. No arrangements had been made for reparations from Bulgaria. Bulgaria had also ill treated British and American prisoners of war. Their sympathies lay much more with concluding a peace with Italy than with Bulgaria.
He thanked his colleagues for listening to him and said he thought it was important that they have all the facts before them. He differed in some points from the President and Marshal Stalin.[Page 172]
Stalin stated it seemed to him that the question with regard to Italy and that with regard to the other satellite states generally were questions of high policy. The purpose of such a policy was to separate these countries from Germany as a great force. There were two methods by which this could be done. One was the use of force. This method had been successfully applied by the Allies in Italy and by the Soviet forces in other satellite states. But the use of force alone was not enough to separate the satellite states from Germany. If they confined themselves to the use of force alone, there was danger that they would create a medium unfavorable [favorable?]14 to the association of these countries to Germany. Therefore, it was expedient to supplement the method of force by the method of improving the position of these satellites. This seemed to him to be the only means to rally the satellites around them and to detach them once and for all from Germany. Compared with these considerations of high policy the questions of revenge and complaints lapsed. It was in the light of these considerations that he viewed the paper presented by the President and he felt that the President’s paper was in full harmony with this policy of detaching the satellites from Germany by easing their position. Therefore, he had no objection in principle to the proposal, but repeated that there might be some improvements of a drafting nature.
He also wished to refer to another aspect of the matter. Of course, Italy had committed great sins. It had committed sins against the Russians as well, but they had not been great ones. They had fought Italy on the Don and in the Ukraine, for they had penetrated that far into his country. He thought, however, it would be incorrect to be guided by the remembrance of injuries. The feeling of revenge, hatred or the desire for redress was a bad adviser in politics. He said it was not for him to teach, but he thought he should be guided in politics by the weighing of forces. The question was, do they wish to have Italy on the side of the United Nations so as to isolate all possible forces which might arise against them from Germany. This determined everything and the same principle applied to the other satellites.
He pointed out that there had been many difficulties and sacrifices caused to them by the satellite states. Rumania had used twenty-two divisions against them. At the termination of the war Hungary had twenty-six divisions and still greater injuries were caused to them by Finland. Of course, if it had not been for the help of Finland, Germany could not have maintained the blockade at Leningrad. Finland had moved twenty-four divisions against Soviet troops. Smaller injuries had been caused them by Bulgaria. She had helped Germany against Russia, but she did not send her troops against them. [Page 173]On the other hand, she had caused harm to the Allies, Yugoslavia and Greece. Bulgaria should be punished for this and he was not opposed to punishing her. The armistice terms provided for reparations to be paid to these two countries. He said not to worry, for the Russians would compel this payment. It was also contemplated in the armistice terms that Bulgaria was to provide troops to fight Germany. This armistice agreement15 had also been signed by the United States and the United Kingdom. The armistice terms provided that after the end of hostilities against Germany the Bulgarian army was to be reduced to normal. He said that this was being done and that it would be carried out. Bulgaria had no right to resist the execution of the armistice terms and the Soviets would see to it that they did not resist.
Such were the sins committed by the satellite states against the Allies generally and the Soviet Union particularly. If they started to take revenge against them for their brazen behavior and the losses which they had caused, this was one policy and he was against it. The Control Commission of the Three Powers started functioning to keep these countries under control. It was time for a different policy and for easing the position of these countries—not in such measure as the case of Italy—but still it was necessary. The only means to do this was to dig a channel between the Germans and the satellite states.
The specific proposals submitted by the President did not propose that a peace treaty with Italy be immediately prepared. All he had proposed was that the way be cleared for the conclusion in the near future of a peace treaty with Italy and that an intermediate arrangement be concluded which would cover the situation created by the ending of the armistice terms before the conclusion of a peace treaty. It was difficult to oppose this because it was practical and right. With regard to the satellites, he did not propose that peace treaties be signed with them nor even that some intermediate position be accorded them as the President had proposed for Italy. He thought they could start by resuming diplomatic relations with them. With regard to the statement that there were no freely elected governments in the satellite states, he pointed out that no such government existed in Italy and that in spite of this they had resumed diplomatic relations with Italy. The same thing was true of France and Belgium.
Churchill pointed out that these were Allies.
Stalin replied that he understood this, but that democracy was democracy everywhere, no matter whether it was a question of allies or satellites.
The President stated that as he understood the position he had made a concrete proposal. The armistice agreement with Italy had [Page 174]been signed by the three governments represented here. The same was true of the other armistice arrangements. He had made a proposition with regard to Italy and Marshal Stalin had made a proposal with regard to the others.
Stalin interrupted to point out that the Dominions had not signed these agreements.
Mr. Eden replied that the three countries had signed in the names of all the other United Nations.
The President interrupted to state that he would like to keep the argument on the questions which they had been discussing, if his colleagues did not mind. On the agenda of their meeting there had been the suggestion of a statement of policy on Italy. Marshal Stalin has raised the question of Rumania, Bulgaria and Finland. The suggestion of Marshal Stalin is that the matter of these satellite states be referred to the Foreign Ministers. The President thought that agreement could be reached on all of these satellite countries. The United States policy in this matter is that it was trying to bring about a feeling of peace in the world and that this did not have to wait a final peace conference for the world as a whole. They were faced with the situation where the United States must expend enormous sums of money because of countries in Europe. With reference to the question of reparations from Italy, it was necessary to take into consideration that the United States was spending from 750 million to a billion dollars to feed Italy this winter. The United States was rich but it could not forever pour out its resources for the help of others without getting something in return. Unless they were able to get these governments on a self-supporting basis, and there was no prospect of getting them on a self-supporting basis the way things were now going, the United States would not be able to continue indefinitely to maintain them when they should be able to help themselves. They had to try at this meeting to prepare conditions which would bring about a situation in which these countries could help themselves. He hoped that they could send this question to the Foreign Ministers and get agreement on all these countries.
Churchill replied that they certainly thought that they were agreed that the preparation of a peace with Italy should be remitted to the Council of Foreign Ministers. He had only deprecated tearing up the surrender terms for that would remove their right to obtain a proper peace.
The President replied that he was not proposing to sweep away that right.
Churchill replied that he agreed to the easing of the burden on Italy. He supposed that there was no objection to a declaration of policy on Italy.[Page 175]
The President said he thought they should include the other satellite states.
Churchill said he agreed with what had been said on the subject of not allowing the future to be governed by a spirit of revenge. It had been a great pleasure for him to hear these words from the leaders of the great communities which his colleagues represented. He had great sympathy for Italy. He had mentioned reparations but the British did not want them for themselves. They were thinking of Greece.
The President pointed out that he had submitted concrete proposals with reference to Italy and that Stalin had submitted proposals with reference to the other satellite states. He suggested that they refer these proposals to the Foreign Ministers.
Churchill replied that he could agree here and now to the preparation of a treaty by the Council of Foreign Ministers. With regard to the armistice terms for Italy he agreed that this could be referred to the Foreign Ministers at the morning meeting.
Stalin said that he suggested that the Foreign Ministers discuss the satellites as well and he urged Churchill to accept this.
Churchill replied that he agreed and that he had not objected to this.
3. The Situation in Austria, Particularly in Vienna
Churchill said that he regretted in the discussion today he appeared to be arguing against the Soviet view. The situation in Austria was very unsatisfactory. It had been agreed that sectors be assigned to them in Austria. The discussion on this matter had been going on for a very long time. Two months ago they were humbly asking that British officers be allowed to go to Vienna in order to look into the question of accommodations. All this had been agreed to in principle. It was with the greatest difficulty that this had been arranged and he had had to address several communications to Marshal Stalin.16 There had been no satisfactory results from this inspection. The British had no one in Vienna now and they were not allowed to take up their positions. The entry of British troops into Syria [Styria] had not been allowed, although this had been agreed to. Three or four months ago Austria had been liberated by the Soviets. Field Marshal Alexander had submitted a very unsatisfactory report on the situation.17 The British did not have a foothold. He thought they should be allowed to go to Austria and take up their zone. At the meeting yesterday Marshal Stalin had raised the question of a visit to the German ships. He proposed that they proceed in a reciprocal manner and pointed out that cities occupied by the Russians should [Page 176]also be opened up. He said that the information reaching them regarding conditions in their zone indicated that they were not satisfactory. In the north in Germany they had retreated to their occupation line and the United States forces had retreated from an enormous territory in occupying their zone, but they had not been allowed to set foot in their zone in Austria.
Stalin said that a general agreement had been reached on the question of zones in Austria. No agreement had been reached on the zones in Vienna. It had taken some time to hold negotiations and agreement had only been reached yesterday.
The President pointed out that he had signed the document on this matter today.18
Stalin said that there was also the question of airfields. Agreement had also been reached on this matter, but the French had only communicated their agreement yesterday. For some reason the French were always late. They agreed to fix the date of entry of the Allied troops into Vienna and the date for the Soviet troops to leave. The movement of troops could begin today or tomorrow.19
He said that Mr. Churchill appeared to be indignant. He wondered why. The Soviets had not been permitted in the United Kingdom zone in Germany. They did not complain. They knew how hard it was to move troops. They had no intention of violating an obligation. If only Austria and Vienna were in question, this question was settled. A wiser action was taken in the case of Berlin and the question of occupation was settled more quickly. Field Marshal Montgomery [Alexander]20 had acted less skillfully. This was one of the factors that delayed matters. He behaves as if Russian troops were under his control. The British and American commanders in the German zone had behaved well and everything was all right there. There was no objection to each army occupying its zone whether in Vienna or in Austria. Only yesterday that agreement had been reached.
Churchill observed that he was very glad to know that matters were now settled. With regard to Field Marshal Alexander, he wished to say that he really did not think that he had been able to give sufficient attention to all of these matters.
Stalin said that he had no complaints against Field Marshal Montgomery [Alexander], although he had not checked up on the matter.
Churchill replied that he would be glad to have any complaints, if there were any.[Page 177]
Stalin said he did not wish to institute an investigation.
Churchill said he was bound to say that in the absence of any complaint Field Marshal Alexander retains the complete confidence of His Majesty’s Government.
Stalin replied that he understood this. He had no complaint. He had only stated what he had been informed of by his commanders and that this was one of the factors that caused the delay.
Churchill pointed out that the British were not the only people involved. There were American deputies involved and it was on record that the United States had been far from satisfied.
The President agreed.
4. Western Frontiers of Poland
Stalin suggested that if his colleagues were not ready today they might discuss this matter at the next meeting.
This was agreed.
On the suggestion of Stalin, this matter was also postponed until the next meeting in order to give the President and Churchill time to consider these Soviet proposals.
- Cf. ante, p. 157.↩
- Document No. 713, post.↩
- For the text of the Yalta Declaration on Liberated Europe, see document No. 1417, post, section v.↩
- Documents Nos. 804 and 1064, post.↩
- Document No. 727, post.↩
- Document No. 1145, post. Map not found.↩
- Document No. 733, post.↩
- Document No. 713, post.↩
- Document No. 1089, post.↩
- i. e., the Conditions of an Armistice, signed September 3, 1943 (Treaties and Other International Acts Series No. 1604; 61 Stat. (3) 2740).↩
- i. e., the Instrument of Surrender of Italy, signed September 29, 1943 (Treaties and Other International Acts Series No. 1604; 61 Stat. (3) 2742).↩
- See Department of State Bulletin, vol. xi, p. 338.↩
- The records of the Tehran Conference are scheduled for subsequent publication in a volume in this series. See Winston S. Churchill, Closing the Ring (vol. v of The Second World War) (Boston, 1951), p. 393.↩
- Cf. the Cohen notes, post, p. 180.↩
- Signed at Moscow, October 28, 1944 (Executive Agreement Series No. 437; 58 Stat. (2) 1498).↩
- See particularly Churchill’s message of May 17, printed in Stalin’s Correspondence, vol. i, p. 356.↩
- See document No. 773, post.↩
- See document No. 772, post, footnote 1.↩
- See document No. 780, post.↩
- Cf. the Cohen notes, post, p. 181.↩
- At 6:40 p.m. See Log, ante, p. 16.↩