740.00119 Potsdam/7–1745

Bohlen Notes 3

M. S.4 late.

Truman —[blank]

S—Chinese—delayed fly—no doctors

Tr: glad to—looking forw—

S—Personal relationship

Truman no difficulty in agreeing—


[Page 44]


M 5—reads—some already on agenda—i e 1 division on German fleet. 2 Reparations. 3 Polish Question—continued of continued—Art6—London Govt—western frontiers of Poland—(on list)

S—Yalta—did not decide frontiers of7

M—trusteeships for USSR.

S—no question of changing regime of trusteeship—settled S. F.8but maybe stupid—division of Italian colonies—other nationals—roughly [one word illegible]

M—relations with Axis satellite—

T—on ours

M—Spain Franco regime


B9—trusteeship—other than Italian


S—Italian & other colonies.

T—what time

S—5 proposed—M & Eden

B—I know habits of rise late—getting—opportunity

T 5 today—4—after that

S—I have changed my habits since


T—Gen Marshall like your Chiefs—they ready to discuss—Antonov—Air Marshal.10

T—Chiefs of staff—no.

S—ours in Berlin could not attend. Re Franco—I should like to explain—F. regime not result of internal conditions of Spain—imposed on Spain—by Ger—Italian—thus a danger to Uni. Nations This regime harmful—by giving shelter to different fascist remnants—we thought it proper to break off with present regime & give change

T—I hold no brief for Franco study


T—I would like—certain matters—first to US—take into consider—orderly—way—but—reasons

T—pleasure to meet for am11—your present—welfare Soviet reps—& U J I am here to—be yr friend—deal directly yes—or no—no diplomat

S—good—help—work—USSR—always go along with US.



T—friends—all subject differences settle—frankly

S—good of course difference—but.

T Churchill—called—

S [one word illegible]

[Page 45]


S—I think so—Labor—surprise

T—expressed same 2 to 1 80 majority

S—yes—people won’t throw out W Ch12—self Preservation

T—yes—1944 R13

S—clever—Eng less clear Jap war—for—Russians & Amer—do their duty Eng think war mainly

T—P. M14 offered—

S—peculiar—mentality—bombed by Ger—not Japan war over for them—these feelings may work vs15 P. M. US people—give power to finish task—can Brit ask that—they believe war over—little interest in war vs Japan—may be

T—we are—not in dire straits as Eng was in re Germany—

S—we ready Aug mid of Aug needs agreement with China [one word illegible]

T—I think that

S—O M16 agreed—long negations17 —R. R. Dairen. P. A18 —differences. Soong—not hopeful by cable—I noticed S understood us than Chungking19

T—yes—I had long talk20 He understands

S—he prepared to return to Chungking—& persuade return end of July—He asked a statement assurance21 re M22—part of China—sovereignty—gave that assurance

S—asked assurances deal only with central govt & not with any nucleus. one Army—he had in mind Com army we shall give full assurances

T—very happy to hear that—settle matter

S—National 1 govt 1 army Treaty agreed—not. Ch 30 in place of 20 as Czech.23 agree—non-interference Ch internal affairs Soong—Sinkiang—Conflict—Ch author. & local pop—no assistance to rebels—[one word illegible]—special provisions—vs. interference could not do it help—suggested concession—Ch [one word and figure illegible] %—rest non Chinese local native schools set up. Soong agreed—won’t be able to calm by stick—improvements—Soong agreed.

T Soong—reasonable.

B—pts of difference—failure on—misunderstanding.

S—in Yalta agreement24 said—re RR. joint preeminent [Page 46] interests. be safeguard—same in Dairen & P. A. The Chinese don’t recognize preeminent int & get around it—what is our preeminent interests—no profits—equally divided—altho built by Russian money—no guards as Japs had—Chinese protect RR themselves—old treaty25 80 yrs—back to China we suggest 30 yrs—agreed satisfaction—but what preem int lie—like to 1 maj26 vote on board of RR—Russian director they want Chinese director—& no maj—Dairen Chinese administration

B—jt administration

S—yes—but 1 Chinese maj—we propose—City Council—jt—board. Russian part

T—effect on our right—

S—free port—open—[one word illegible].

T—open door

S—not all smooth with Chinese—that is why he went home

S—mid August—as agreed at Yalta—we keep word

M } keep words

B—in accordance—with Yalta—OK—if in excess difficult

S—our wishes—more liberal than Yalta—restoration of Russian rights—entitled to station troops—80 yrs exclusively Russian—we have formal right—not done so we do not wish to add or deceive Chungking don’t understand horse trading—slow. try to wangle every thing—big pictures—very


B— } main interest free port

B—when here from Soong

S—end July—to finish negotiation—Chinese 22 years no ties—no repre—can’t lose what one does not have.

  1. Transcribed for this volume from longhand notes in pencil. In interviews with Department of State historians on July 11, 1955, January 25, 1960, and February 8, 1960, Bohlen expressed certainty (since at earlier conferences of Heads of Government it had been his practice, without exception, to transcribe his notes into minutes or memoranda of conversation) that he transcribed these notes into a memorandum of conversation shortly after the meeting took place. Because of Stalin’s reference to the entry of the Soviet Union into the war against Japan, it is possible that such a memorandum would have been given special security handling, but a search of the Department’s various file collections and of the Truman and Byrnes Papers has failed to bring such a memorandum to light. A literal transcription of the original notes is therefore printed here. For a fuller reconstruction of the first TrumanStalin conversation, prepared by Bohlen in March 1960 on the basis of these notes and from memory, see document No. 1418, post.

    For other accounts of this meeting, see Hillman, Mr. President, p. 123; Truman, Year of Decisions, pp. 341–342; Leahy, I Was There, pp. 396–397; James F. Byrnes, Speaking Frankly (New York, 1947), pp. 68, 205; James F. Byrnes, All in One Lifetime (New York, 1958), pp. 290–291. Byrnes’ second account (i. e., the account printed in All in One Lifetime) erroneously ascribes to this meeting one subject—a peace feeler from Japan—actually discussed by Truman and Stalin on the following day, July 18. See post, p. 87.

    Both Byrnes and Leahy mention the fact that Stalin discussed the death or disappearance of Hitler—a subject not mentioned in the Bohlen notes. Since Leahy apparently did not join the meeting until luncheon was served, it is probable that this subject was discussed during luncheon and that the Bohlen notes cover only the conversation before luncheon.

    Stimson’s diary for July 17 includes the following entry relating to the TrumanStalin meeting of that date: “The President, however, told me briefly of his first meeting with Stalin and said he thought that he had clinched the Open Door in Manchuria.”

  2. Marshal Stalin. Although Stalin had been raised to the rank of Generalissimo on June 27, he was frequently referred to at the Berlin Conference as “Marshal Stalin” or “the Marshal”.
  3. Molotov.
  4. Possibly an abbreviation for Arciszewski.
  5. See document No. 1417, post, section vi.
  6. San Francisco; i. e., at the United Nations Conference on International Organization. Concerning the “regime of trusteeship” referred to, see chapters xi-xiii of the Charter of the United Nations, signed at San Francisco, June 26, 1945 (Treaty Series No. 993; 59 Stat. (2) 1031).
  7. Byrnes.
  8. Cf. memorandum by the President, post, p. 183.
  9. Possibly an abbreviation for Americans.
  10. Winston Churchill.
  11. Roosevelt.
  12. Prime Minister, i. e., Churchill.
  13. Versus, i. e., against.
  14. Outer Mongolia.
  15. i. e., negotiations.
  16. Port Arthur.
  17. Concerning the StalinSoong conversations referred to, see vol. i, p. 857.
  18. See Truman, Year of Decisions, pp. 268–270.
  19. The word “assurance” is an interlineation.
  20. Manchuria.
  21. The reference is to the Soviet-Czechoslovak Treaty of Friendship, Mutual Assistance, and Post-War Cooperation, signed at Moscow, December 12, 1943, which was to remain in force for 20 years. For text, see Department of State, Documents and State Papers, vol. i, p. 228.
  22. i. e., the agreement regarding entry of the Soviet Union into the war against Japan, signed February 11, 1945. For text, see Executive Agreement Series No. 498; 59 Stat. (2) 1823; Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Malta and Yalta, 1945, p. 984.
  23. For a description of and citations to the treaties referred to, see post, p. 1231.
  24. Majority.