Editorial Note

The Department of State has the typewritten ribbon copy (Top Secret) of what is entitled “Record of Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., Secretary of State”. Mr. Stettinius’ prefatory note contains the following pertinent remarks on the nature of this Record:

“While I was Secretary of State I maintained a Record of my principal official activities in Washington, believing that a view of the immediate past can be a guide for the future. This record is based on personal conversations, letters, cables, press reports and considerable other material. It is a straight factual account, omitting any personal comments except for my own conversations. . . .

“In order to focus important features of the wide panorama of world affairs, the Record is for the most part divided into weekly Sections, with these Sections further divided into topical subsections. ... In the course of developing the Record, Sections One to Five were set down in the third person, while the first person has been used in the remainder of the narrative.”

Since the Record was maintained only for the periods during which Stettinius was in Washington, it contains no entries for the conferences at Malta and Yalta, for which Stettinius left the Department on January 23, in preparation for taking off by plane early on January 25, 1945.

The excerpts from this Record which are reproduced on the following pages represent those portions from the period December 1, 1944–January 23, 1945 which concerned preparations for the conferences at Malta and Yalta or dealt with negotiations on subjects that came up for discussion at those conferences. (As noted in the introduction, p. xiii, the Stettinius papers for these conferences have not been made available to the Department of State.)

The Record contains a considerable number of references to sources from which the Record was compiled, such as “Secretary’s appointments”, “Summaries of Telegrams”, and “News Digests”. In the portions of the Record presented herein, these source references have been omitted and have been replaced, wherever appropriate, by cross-references to pertinent documents contained in this volume.

[Page 430]

Week of 1–9 December 1944

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Trouble in Italy and Greece

A statement of “Special Information for the President” which I had signed December 1, carried the following item:1

“The British Ambassador has clearly stated to Bonomi that the appointment of Sforza as Foreign Minister would be unacceptable. Kirk considers this an undue interference in Italian internal affairs which, since Itaty is a theatre of combined operations, to some extent involves the United States.”

On Monday, December 4, according to Mr. Byington’s memorandum to Mr. Savage, “the Department of State was deluged with questions from correspondents in regard to reports from London that the United States supported the British opposition to the appointment of Count Sforza in the Italian Government.” . . .2 “I3 took these questions up.” . .2 “I submitted the draft of the statement thus prepared to Mr. McDermott who approved it and I then took it up with Mr. Matthews who suggested some changes.”

“The next morning I informed the Secretary of State by telephone in regard to the great number of queries now pending before the Department and read him the statement as drafted for his approval with the suggestion that it be released prior to the Press Conference in order that he would not be subjected to the very embarrassing questions which were being put to the Department by the correspondents. The Secretary after hearing the statement, which he had me repeat several times, instructed me to take it to Mr. Dunn, have him go over it and after it received Mr. Dunn’s approval, he authorized me to release the statement. I took the statement up with Mr. Dunn and then after receiving his approval, I gave it to the press at about 10:45 on the morning of December 5.”4

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Questioned at his noon press conference shortly afterward, Secretary Stettinius said there was nothing he could say on the Italian situation in addition to the statement. He received a phone call from Dr. Matthews Office of European Affairs, that good reports were coming in on the statement.

A letter dated December 5 from Ambassador Halifax reached Mr. Stettinius next day enclosing a “personal telegram” which Halifax had received on the night of December 4, from Prime Minister [Page 431]Churchill.5 Churchill said that he felt “fully entitled to make the Italian Government aware of our view upon this matter because we had been accorded command in the Mediterranean, as the Americans have command in France, and therefore we have a certain special position and responsibility,” and attributing the loss of “all confidence in Count Sforza’s letter to Berle dated September 23, 1943.”6 Churchill felt that, if necessary, he would defend himself in Commons by saying that he considered Sforza “not only a man who has broken his word, but also an intriguer and mischief maker” and that he was chiefly motivated by “consideration for his own advancement.” Finally Churchill had made proposals to the President at Quebec, “all of which have been carried out and some improved upon, for easing the Italian situation, especially before the Presidential elections.”

On the morning of Wednesday the 6th, Mr. Stettinius phoned Mr. Dunn that “in view of the big splash” which the Italian statement had made in London, Mr. Matthews should call Mr. Michael Wright at the British Embassy. Mr. Dunn said that Eden had made a statement saying that his position was unchanged in the light of everything that had been said up to that moment and assured the Secretary that the position he took in the statement was the President’s policy. Nevertheless, the Secretary said a wire should have gone out to the President on the 5th telling of the statement, that he was asking that a memorandum be sent to the President immediately.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Churchill had cabled the President7 asking permission to quote “Count Sforza’s letter to Mr. Berle of September 23, 1943,” because it was on the basis of this letter that the British had allowed Sforza to return to Italy. He had later broken “a gentleman’s word of honor” according to Churchill, in repudiating this position which had been personally discussed with Churchill. The Prime Minister continued “I was much astonished at the acerbity of the State Department’s communiqué to the public, and I shall do my best in my reply to avoid imitating it.” He then reminded the President of his support during “the Darlan affair,” during the proposals to divide the Italian Navy and in general in proposing “mitigation for Italy.” He was, therefore, hurt that the State Department should “attempt to” administer a public rebuke to His Majesty’s Government.

The President in replying to Churchill 8 permitted him to quote from Sforza’s letter to Berle since it “merely transmitted Sforza’s message to Badoglio and in no way involved this Government.”

While deploring any difference, the President pointed to the “untenable position in which we were put” by Eden’s statement in the [Page 432]House and that in spite of Italy being “an area of combined Anglo-American responsibility” the disapproval of Sforza as Premier or Foreign Minister “was made without prior consultation with us in any quarter.”

On inquiring of Dr. Matthews whether he had seen the above wire from the Prime Minister to the President, Mr. Stettinius learned that Mr. Michael Wright of the British Embassy “is bringing in a document from Eden 9 which he must present to ERS personally.” The Secretary agreed to see him late that afternoon. Mr. Wright was Counselor of the British Embassy and handled the situation because Lord Halifax was compelled to be out of town. Indicating that the British reaction had been prompt and violent, he said that the Italian statement “had caused great embarrassment and that the Prime Minister and Mr. Eden were aroused.” He particularly feared the application of the statement to other “liberated territories” especially Greece. Wright had a message from Eden which he would not leave with the Secretary because it was “very personal” and “too unpleasant.” After supporting “our position on Italy following Quebec, which was hard for them,” Wright said the British felt that they should have been consulted and that in view of a Parliamentary debate the following Friday “it would be most helpful if we could make a statement promptly.”

The Secretary replied (having decided with Mr. Dunn just before Wright’s visit on “a very firm stand”) that he especially regretted the incident because during lend-lease and as Under Secretary his relations with the British had been “happy and harmonious” and it was unfortunate to have this happen during his first week in office. Tea was then brought into the Secretary’s office, and the Secretary’s calendar notes report that Wright became “very pleasant and calm.” Explaining that there was nothing in the statement except what had been agreed upon between the British and United States Government at Moscow, the Secretary continued “the big point I must make in your mind is that it is another case of lack of consultation on your part, since if you had consulted us this incident would never have occurred.” Wright agreed to that, but added that our inevitable mistakes should be aired in private and not in public and that the British should have been consulted about the statement “because two wrongs don’t make a right.”

The Secretary concluded, “I must send a message to Eden tonight” and Wright responded “I will send one too and say you have been reasonable about this matter ...10 and that you will make a statement to be used to help them out of a corner on Friday.” The Secretary’s long, informal and personal wire to Mr. Eden 11 ended: “We [Page 433]are working up a friendly statement to be given out tomorrow which I sincerely hope will be helpful.” Consequently, at his press conference at noon the next day (December 7) the Secretary said:

“I was interested to note that in his statement on the Greek situation on December 5 Prime Minister Churchill told the House of Commons the following: ‘Our own position, as I have said is extremely clear. Whether the Greek people form themselves into a monarchy or republic is for their decision. Whether they form a government of the right or left is for their decision. These are entirely matters for them.’ With this statement I am in full agreement. It is also our earnest hope that the people and authorities of Greece and our British Allies will work together in rebuilding that ravished country.”

A wire from the Secretary to the President early that afternoon referred to Eden’s “personal message to me,” in response to which the Secretary had made a statement for which “the quotation selected for endorsement was selected by the British Embassy here.”

Mr. Stettinius also signed a letter on the 7th to Lord Halifax,12 ending “I am sure you know how much I value your friendship; as long as we can talk things out friendly and frankly at all times and keep no differences between us [sic].”

An aide-mémoire was drafted that day13 saying that instructions had been sent to our representative in Rome, that the U. S. Government was concerned “over the prolonged crisis in the Italian Government,” outlining the Government’s past actions and re-assuming our position and concluding that there would be consultation “between the British and American Governments at the appropriate time.”

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Toward the end of the week Lord Halifax, back in Washington, called on the Secretary and “complimented me on my message to Eden (on Italy) of the night before last—which he thought was excellent. ‘I must tell you, Ed, I see your point and my Government should have consulted you before acting.’ “Incidentally, he also discussed fears of the British Ambassador in Rome regarding “the possible arrest and execution of Badoglio,” and urged that the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff direct Marshal Montgomery 14 in Italy to give orders for Badoglio’s protection. Secretary Stettinius directed that “Dunn and Matthews immediately discuss the proposal with our Joint Chiefs of Staff this afternoon in order that they could express an opinion to Lord Halifax or to Michael Wright not later than tomorrow.”15 Finally the Secretary suggested to the President that [Page 434]matters be arranged so that the Marshal could “intervene on behalf of Badoglio, only as the last resort to prevent his arrest.”

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The Sixth of December

Wednesday the sixth was destined to be an active day, full of complications. The first appointment was on US-UK handling of mandated territories with Sir Frederick Eggleston, who declared that joint trusteeship “would be a diplomatic error” and handed Mr. Stettinius the following significant paragraph:

“Powers responsible for dependent territories should accept the principle of trusteeship, already applicable in the case of mandated territories. In such dependent territories the purpose of the trust is the welfare and advancement of the native peoples. Colonial Powers should undertake to make regular reports to an international body analogous to the Permanent Mandates Commission, set up within the framework of the General Organization. This body should be empowered to publish reports of its deliberations and to inspect dependent territories.” (underlining supplied)

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Week of 10–16 December 1944

Italy, Greece, and the Soviet-Polish Border

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Churchill’s message to Tito in Yugoslavia was “almost threatening” and protested against the “rude attitude of Tito and the partisans toward the British.” Meanwhile, U. S. Ambassador Kirk suggested that “we might well re-examine and clarify our position in respect to Yugoslavia” because “the present ruling group means to make use of every opportunity to enhance the prestige of the Soviet Union while seeking to discredit the western allies.”1 Prime Minister Subasic, considering that his visit to Moscow had been a failure, placed the blame partly “on us and the British.”

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On Saturday the sixteenth Mr. Stettinius discussed “the Polish thing” with a group of Departmental officials in his office, for he had signed a wire to Ambassador Harriman in Moscow the preceding Tuesday2 that “in view of apparent impossibility of present Polish Cabinet working out any agreement with the Soviet Government regarding the future of Poland, the Department does not contemplate [Page 435]that relations will be more than correct ...3 that we would not look favorably on full recognition of the Lublin Committee by the Soviet.”

On Friday, Mr. Stettinius told Secretary Forrestal that Harriman had a letter in which our attitude toward Poland was “crystal clear” and that “to say we haven’t got a position isn’t quite on the beam.”

In Italy, Badoglio, after finding temporary sanctuary in the British Embassy, was possibly to be flown to Malta—or again, he might enter the Vatican. Meanwhile, Count Sforza “expresses his gratitude for the American position in favor of Italian dignity and independence,” saying that Churchill’s speech against him was contrary to the truth. The Bonomi Government in Italy was considered to be representative but weakened by failure to include the Socialist and Action parties.

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Week of 17–23 December 1944

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Soviet-Polish Border

On Sunday, December 17 the Secretary received a phone call from Mr. Bohlen that a wire had just come in from the President “approving the press release on Poland.” That day the Secretary “talked to Dr. Bowman for half an hour and discussed all aspects of the Polish statement to be issued Monday.”1 With certain reservations “he thought it was all right.” Secretary Stettinius also had Mr. Durbrow, Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs, check that morning with Mr. Hackworth at home and Dr. Pasvolsky in New York at the Harvard Club to clear with them the Polish statement.

Phoning Lord Halifax Monday morning the eighteenth the Secretary read him the statement and “he said he thought it sounded very well. ...2 Halifax was very appreciative of my having called him. ...2 Halifax said that Eden had called him in the middle of the night and said he had sent all sorts of nice messages to me which he now gave me. He wanted to thank me on what I had done on the Palestine matter.” Eden wished included in the statement a paragraph about Polish frontiers, and Mr. Stettinius said that he would “be delighted to consider the matter.” He told him, however, that “this whole activity in Greece and in Poland was causing great resentment in this country and we should definitely have a private [Page 436]talk.” United States military people were going so far as to say that we ought to withdraw from Europe and “go to the Pacific now and win the war there”.

Mr. Harry Hopkins also approved the statement, likewise Senator Connally. Leaving no stone unturned, the Secretary read the statement on the phone to Vandenberg, who linked the Polish situation and other political developments to “the hold-out on our nominees and it was just pouring water on the wheel for these fellows who were trying to make trouble.” Incidentally, on the same day Mr. Edgar Mowrer in a visit to the Secretary told him that “we are letting the British and Russians ride roughshod over us . . .3 I asked Mr. Mowrer to be patient.”4

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After issuance of the release, the Secretary told Mr. Hopkins “that the Polish statement went well” and the Ambassador of Poland was enthusiastic about it when talking to Mr. Stettinius on the phone, saying that it agreed perfectly with their policy. Next day the Secretary called Mr. Byington to ask about editorials on the statement and was informed that “they are favorable as a whole. . . .3 the Post has a very good editorial on it,” which acclaimed the statement as “based squarely on war aims of the United Nations.”

In a memorandum to the President on Friday after an overly enthusiastic reaction by the Poles to Monday’s statement, the Secretary submitted a proposed letter to go to the Polish Prime Minister emphasizing that “we believe an early settlement of the frontier question would be a great benefit to the Polish nation and people.”

Various Developments Abroad

Lord Halifax advised the Secretary on Tuesday that an agreement had been reached between Tito and Subasic in Yugoslavia,5 that Eden “hopes we will go along with this.” In response, a wire went to London saying, “This Government would not undertake to express an opinion” because it was a question of personalities involved and also “because of the nature of the language used and the technicalities of Yugoslav law. The Ambassador should not enter into discussions of the questions involved.”

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On the eighteenth a memorandum to the President6 pointed out that since resignation of the Iranian government in November, the Russians have not done anything to interfere in internal Iranian [Page 437]affairs. “It would be a mistake for Harriman to approach Stalin as long as there is a possibility that the tension in Iran is easing.”

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Civilian Supply

At 11 o’clock Monday morning, Secretary Stettinius received Mr. Richard Law, Minister of State of the British Foreign Office. He stated he was here to discuss only economic matters, shipping and feeding of liberated countries. While the Secretary told him at first that his opposite in our Government would be Mr. Acheson, it was decided later in the week that, because Law’s project cut across several Departments and also because he represented “His entire Government”, Mr. Harry Hopkins should work with Mr. Law, in close consultation with Mr. Acheson. Lord Halifax, Mr. Harry Hopkins and Mr. Law met with the Secretary in his office Tuesday noon in regard to shipping. Mr. Hopkins stated that “this thing would have to be handled in an extremely delicate way” because of military and other pressures. . . .7 “The central theme of the discussion was that immediate relief for civilians to keep them happy and contented was a part of modern war.” Hopkins and Law went to lunch together to talk this matter over, and were finally to put it up to the Secretary regarding “what our next step would be.”

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War Crimes

Mr. Herbert Pell reported that he had been “working under a great hardship in London” with insufficient staff and that “the Australian representative was about to resign . . .7 in disgust.” Pell found it hard to operate because he had “practically no instructions. . . .7 He appealed for clarification of our policy toward war criminals.” Secretary Stettinius told him “I would undertake the responsibility of having the policy clarified.” The Department’s Legal adviser, Mr. Hackworth, had just informed the Secretary that “Army, Navy and Justice are studying the policy matter not yet established.”8

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Week of 24–31 December 1944

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[Stettinius had a talk with Lord Halifax on Tuesday.] . . . The question of a joint British-American position on possible Soviet recognition of the Lublin Committee was also mentioned.

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[Page 438]

United Nations (Big-Three Conference)

On Saturday, December 30, newspapers reported that “Stettinius has no plans at present for going to London,” although the day before a rumor ran that “Stettinius will meet Eden in London to get firsthand account of the Greek situation.” It was said that at the next Big-Three Meeting the President would have to put aside his usual “one big happy family” approach and that “Stettinius’ recent statement regarding Italy and Greece showed that the White House now believed we should use ‘plainer, blunter speech’.” Newspapers interpreted remarks by Secretary Stettinius at the Tuesday press conference as showing that efforts had been useless toward solving the “veto problem” in voting in the Security Council and this was one of the main reasons for the impending Big-Three Meeting. But the Secretary noted in his private calendar that “the President did mention to me that he is not too worried about Stalin’s position on voting procedure.”

Soviet and Polish Problems

Late Friday afternoon (December 29) Secretary Stettinius held a meeting in his office with Messrs. Grew, Dunn, Bohlen, Durbrow and Hayden Raynor, to confront the situation that the Lublin Poles would probably “declare themselves to be a provisional government which might be so recognized by the Soviet Union, and perhaps by certain other countries, such as Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.” It was the consensus that the President should “send Stalin a cable expressing disappointment” over his taking such action prior to the Big-Three meeting and expressing hope for deferment. Mr. Stettinius phoned Hyde Park “about sending a message to ‘Young [Uncle] Joe’ on Poland” and Miss Tully arranged for him to talk to President Roosevelt the next day.

Saturday morning (December 30) Ambassador Halifax phoned and asked if the Department had given thought to “what we should say about Lublin.”

Mr. Stettinius : Yes. We worked through the night on it. I am seeing the President today. We must say the same thing. . . .1 this Lublin thing might break Monday.

The Secretary then called Mr. Matthews and “wanted to know if the boys were keeping in touch with things.” Indicating complete agreement with the British, Mr. Matthews said that the Prime Minister in his last message declared “he didn’t intend to recognize at this time.” . . .1

After “the President agreed with Bohlen and myself this afternoon that it would be perfectly proper for us to make the statement over [Page 439]the weekend,” the Secretary instructed Bohlen to “dictate that message before he goes home this evening.” At three o’clock Saturday afternoon, December 30, the President therefore sent Stalin a cable, as drafted in the Department:2

The message was repeated to the Prime Minister with the notation: “You will see we are in step.” This reference was in response to an earlier plea for cooperation voiced by Mr. Churchill.3

Various Developments Abroad

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The hapless position of King Peter of Yugoslavia was presented to the Department through ... [a] report which included Peter’s long fervent appeal to Prime Minister Churchill, complaining that his “Royal Constitutional rights” were not being protected, and ending with the plea that “we may together . . .4 find a solution,” even if that meant King Peter would have to “remain abroad for awhile.” (However, within several days the King was destined to submit to a regency with which he was ill-pleased.) ...4

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Week of 1–6 January 1945

New Year’s Day

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The Secretary told Mr. Harry Hopkins that the purpose of his 12:30 appointment with the President next day was to “bring with him people who will be involved in the forthcoming conferences.” The President, Mr. Stettinius explained, did not want to have anyone accompany him in an advisory capacity, but he felt Messrs. Bowman and Alger Hiss ought to go. Hopkins promised to discuss the matter with the President that afternoon. . . .

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United Nations

On Wednesday1 the Secretary talked over with Dr. Pasvolsky “what transpired at the White House yesterday” and said “we would have to prepare to see the President soon again on voting procedure.” The press was endeavoring to pry out of the Department and Congress various details about the impending conference, and [Page 440]Senator Connally told the Secretary that it was useless to discuss it because “It is the voting procedure and the President wants to sit down himself with Churchill and Stalin and see what we can get.” In the Secretary’s conversation Friday with Senator Connally both felt that regarding the Dumbarton Oaks proposals “nothing could be done now until the big meeting.” Assuming that agreement would then be reached on voting and on membership, Mr. Stettinius was hopeful “we could have a United Nations Conference in the spring.”

Various Developments Abroad

Soviet and Polish Problems. During the New Year weekend, Soviet Russia announced its recognition of the Lublin Committee, and there was widespread alarm that this meant another division among the Allies. However, the Secretary on Friday arranged with the President that he could “tell the press that we were consulted re Russia’s recognition of the Lublin National Committee in Poland.”

. . . Meanwhile, discussions continued regarding handling of Soviet prisoners of the Germans captured by Allied armies.2

As for Germany, the Department’s proposal3 bad “been in the White House for several weeks.” Chief problem was American control of Bremen and Bremerhaven in the British area to enable ingress and egress to and from the American zone. Also the French wanted equal participation with the Big Three in the occupation of Germany and a memorandum went to the President on Thursday4 recommending acceptance of the French proposals “subject to the approval of the military authorities.”

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War Crimes. In asking for a report on the status of the War Crimes Commission, the President told Secretary Stettinius that “The charges should include an indictment for waging aggressive and unprovoked warfare, in violation of the Kellogg pact.”5 The Secretary in his reply6 listed the Commission’s recommendations regarding courts for trying war criminals, and added that next Monday a meeting was scheduled in Judge Rosenman’s office, “to come to some common understanding . . .7 and to submit a report to you.”

[Page 441]

Other. Ambassador Winant in reviewing the first year’s activities of the European Advisory Commission to be completed on January 14, called attention to the fact that “only one paper has been finally approved” and suggested ineffectiveness.8

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7–23 January 1945

United Nations

Preparation for the other conferences—the Big-Three Chiefs of State—occupied much of my thought during these weeks. After attending the annual meeting of the American Red Cross on the morning of the eighth, I saw Messrs. Dunn, Pasvolsky, Alger Hiss and Hayden Raynor in my office, regarding a noon meeting at the White House with the President.1 (At a dinner that evening with Ambassador and Madame Gromyko, the Ambassador advised me he was being “recalled to Moscow for consultation.”) Next morning I met with Messrs. Blanchard, Foote, Matthews, Alger Hiss, Bohlen, Conn, and Lynch to speed up preparations, and Colonel Ireland called me to talk about the project and to “get the information straight,” as he said. I asked him if he had talked with Colonel McCarthy, as he knew more about it. Colonel Ireland said that he wanted to discuss my separate itinerary. In view of the secrecy of the undertaking, I called him back on my White House phone and told him that I had to get to the rendezvous before “number one” and discussed details, including the question of an aide.

On Wednesday the tenth I told the members of my Staff Committee to speed up preparation of memoranda for the President to take to the meeting of the Big-Three, that the material should be ready on January 18th, and all memoranda in the hands of Mr. Alger Hiss not later than January 15th. As for the binder of material which I would take along with me, I wished to have that by Tuesday, the sixteenth. I was advised by Mr. Dunn that the memoranda on the Near East were ready and that questions on Europe could be ready as soon as he had discussed a few policy matters with me. I told Mr. Dunn that he would have to take the responsibility for those papers. I agreed with his suggestion that everything be written up in final form by Saturday, the thirteenth, subject to any modification which could be introduced by revising certain pages in the book before it went to the President. (By January 19th, I was able to arrange an [Page 442]appointment with the White House for Mr. Bohlen to present the completed binder, including the ten points.)2

I told Mr. Rockefeller in answer to his question at a Staff meeting that the memoranda should not only be background, but contain policy guidance. For instance, the President would have to have a private talk with Mr. Churchill on British meat purchases in Argentina.

On the same occasion I explained that if things went well at the Big-Three meeting, I wanted to be able to cable Mr. Pasvolsky to start the machinery for calling a United Nations Conference. Assuming the President could clear up unsettled issues, I wanted to have the make-up of the American Delegation all ready and the proposed date and place agreed upon in advance so that there would be no delay later. I passed on to the Committee my impressions from the President of how encouraged he felt about pressing the American view on voting procedure with Stalin, as well as his general determination to see that we actually got a world organization.

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Of course, the major matter outstanding from the Dumbarton Oaks Conference to be considered at the conference was the procedure for voting, and on the tenth I asked Mr. Harry Hopkins to set a time “when a couple of guys can come” to see the President about voting procedure. He said that he would arrange it with Mr. Bohlen. I wrote President Roosevelt on the seventeenth informing him the British would accept the proposed compromise formula on voting in the security council as sent to the Prime Minister some time ago.3 However, in a meeting which the President had with certain members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on January 11th, he had been said by Mr. Acheson to have gone “further than expected towards agreement with the Russian view . . .4 of requiring unanimity.” The President felt we would probably have to yield to the Russians on this point but that they would yield on their proposals for seventeen votes. Just before he left on the morning of the seventeenth, Ambassador Gromyko phoned me to say good-bye and to express his regret at not being able to call on me before leaving. I told him that I would see him there.

When the forthcoming conference of the Big-Three first became known to the public, it was not stated that I would accompany the President. A good deal of newspaper comment began to develop. Arthur Krock on January 9th said, in summary, that “If Stettinius attends Mexico City meeting of American foreign ministers, he cannot also be present at Big-3 meeting. Undoubtedly his prestige and State Depart.’s would be enhanced if Stettinius should go with President [Page 443]to Big-3 meeting . . .5 However, it is good practice for President to keep State Secretary in constant touch with formulation of policy. Example of this good practice would be Stettinius’ presence at the Big-3 meeting.”

Senator Brewster made a speech in Congress suggesting the President was “passing over Mr. Stettinius” in not taking me to the Big-3 meeting. This was brought up in the meeting of my Staff Committee while I was out of town and the Committee felt “secrecy on this point was undesirable and unnecessary” and an announcement should be made to the effect that I was going. The Committee suggested I take the matter up with the President. I discussed with him a number of secret items involving the conference, on the morning of Thursday, the eighteenth, and next morning I checked with the President’s Secretary, Mr. Early, about my making a statement to the press on my trip abroad. Early said that he had just cleared this with the President for the second time and urged me to make the announcement as soon as possible. I told Early exactly what I was going to say and he approved. At noon that day in answer to questions I revealed that the President had invited me several weeks before to accompany him on his forthcoming trip. And I added that this would not conflict with the meeting at Mexico City, that I would attend that conference also.

Details and plans for the big trip were discussed on the eighteenth with Major Tyson and Major Richmond—who would respectively be my aide and pilot—together with Alger Hiss of the Department. I instructed Major Tyson to report to Colonel McCarthy for briefing. Later that day I had a visit from the French Ambassador and Mr. René Mayer, French Minister for Transportation and Public Works, who told me of their anxiety that General de Gaulle should attend the Big-3 meeting. Without giving them much encouragement, I advised them that the whole question was receiving our very careful consideration. The British also required a little handling. Lord Halifax had requested that we give him certain preparatory information for relaying to London, but after consultation within the Department I telephoned Lord Halifax that Mr. Hopkins would have private talks in London on his arrival. Lord Halifax thought this was a very satisfactory answer. The British also appeared likely to press a proposal that Russia be informed of the urgency of the Iranian proposals in advance of the Big-3 Conference, but our position was that this would lend the Iranian situation undue importance.6

At 3:30 on Tuesday the 23rd I held a small off-the-record meeting of the members of the party in final preparation for our departure.

A hopeful sign for international cooperation appeared in a successful [Page 444]draft proposing a Four-Power Committee to supervise “the return of democratic government” in liberated and satellite states, to be called the Emergency High Commission for Europe.7 I expected to take up this project with the President on my return from Mexico City. Ambassador Pearson of Canada presented a statement of his Government’s views on Dumbarton Oaks, principally recommending that middle-sized countries should be more frequent members of the Security Council than smaller countries.8

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

A number of financial and economic matters involved relations with the Soviet Union. Ambassador Harriman reported on a Soviet Aide-Mémoire which asked a postwar credit of six billion dollars to run for thirty years at 2½ per cent a year, and which suggested that development of friendly relations would depend upon a generous credit.9 But Harriman recommended that our willingness to cooperate in large-scale Russian reconstruction should depend on “Soviet international behavior”. While a rising standard of living in Russia might mean increased tolerance, we should retain control of any credits, and we should reach agreement on lend-lease before putting into production additional long-life industrial equipment.

I wrote Secretary Morgenthau that we had studied the Treasury’s letter of January 1 to the President,10 proposing comprehensive financial aid to the U. S. S. R. during its reconstruction period. We would be glad to sit down with Mr. Morgenthau and members of his staff, I suggested, to discuss their plan and the original Soviet request. In communicating with Mr. Crowley of FEA,11 we concurred that the question of long-term credits for Soviet postwar projects should be kept separate from lend-lease items on the war supply program. Our position on the long-term financing was that we could not immediately make concrete proposals for a large postwar credit because of legislative restrictions but that we were anxious to extend such a credit as soon as authorization was received from Congress. Meanwhile, details of Soviet requirements would be welcomed.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Soviet authorities were pleased that Dr. Millspaugh and the forty-five Americans comprising his mission might be withdrawn from Iran, owing to a decision to place the powers of the mission in Iranian hands. The British, on the other hand, were hoping that the mission would remain. The American representatives themselves were almost indifferent. But U.S. prestige was involved.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[Page 445]

On my return to Washington, Wednesday, January 17th, I met with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the Capitol. I had a very friendly reception. I spoke for thirty or forty minutes and was questioned for about the same time. Nothing arose of an embarrassing or dangerous nature. Mr. Acheson talked later with four Senators who were extremely enthusiastic, and Senator Hill told Mr. MacLeish that he hoped such meetings would continue. I suggested afterward to my Staff Committee that they might hold these meetings with the Senate during my absence, but I had to caution them against disclosing anything that ought not to appear in the press. Unfortunately, forty-eight hours after the President had spoken to members of the Committee about a closely guarded secret—Russia’s demand for sixteen seats in the General Assembly—it had appeared in the newspapers. . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Various Developments Abroad

Europe. The Polish Ambassador called on me Tuesday morning January 9th asking what the next step of our Government would be on the Polish situation. The Ambassador pressed me to say that I personally felt it would be advantageous for Mikolajczyk to be taken back into the Government. I replied that it would be unwise to stir the matter up at this time, that he would have to be patient pending the outcome of certain conversations the President hoped to have. Actually, the Department favored an arrangement regarding the Polish boundary whereby Poland would acquire most of East Prussia, German Upper Silesia, the eastern portion of Pomerania, and other former German holdings. Resulting from Soviet recognition, the Lublin Committee in Poland was gaining increasing support as a government.

The Soviet Government took an aggressive attitude toward our releasing Soviet nationals captured by our forces, regardless of retaliatory measures the Germans might take against American prisoners of war; and it appeared urgent for us to express our views emphatically as soon as we had received all necessary information from the War Department. When Secretary Stimson inquired regarding our policy and action, I told him that I had informed Ambassador Gromyko we could take no action before discussing it with the War Department. Secretary Stimson said that he would send a memorandum to the President expressing his views. . . . On January 17th I signed a wire to Ambassador Harriman authorizing him to let Marshal Voroshilov sign the Hungarian Armistice on behalf of the United States.12

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[Page 446]

. . . We informed Ambassador Murphy that we felt the Italian policy had been mild even for Italy and that a much more rigorous purge program should be applied to Germany. A general “post-defeat” directive for Germany was approved by the State, War and Navy Departments, although the financial sections had not been agreed to by the Treasury Department; therefore Mr. Winant had been instructed to act without waiting for the latter.13 By the time I left for the trip, the State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee was drawing up a document to be presented to the four governments involved, proving [providing] for immediate activation in London of the Control Council for Germany.14

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

At my press conference on the nineteenth a correspondent inquired whether the U. S. policy was still the same regarding punishment of Hitler and other Nazi leaders as had been previously stated by Secretary Hull and the President. I answered that that was still the policy of the Department. Ambassador Joseph Davies phoned me on the twenty-second to say he had a memorandum on war crimes; I had a visit with him that noon.

  1. For other excerpts from this memorandum, see ante, pp. 213, 250, 266.
  2. Points appear in the original.
  3. Byington.
  4. Points appear in the original.
  5. At this point the Record contains the text of the press release printed ante, pp. 266267.
  6. Ante, pp. 267269.
  7. Cf. ante, p. 268.
  8. Not printed; but see ante, pp. 267269, 271.
  9. Ante, p. 271.
  10. Ante, pp. 269270.
  11. Points appear in the original.
  12. Ante, p. 272.
  13. Ante, pp. 271272.
  14. Ante, pp. 273274.
  15. Stettinius evidently meant Field Marshal Alexander, who was Supreme Allied Commander in the Mediterranean.
  16. The Department of Defense has supplied the information that there is no record that the Joint Chiefs of Staff were asked formally to consider this matter.
  17. Telegram No. 1696, December 11, 1944 (860 H. 01/12–1144), from Ambassador Kirk at Caserta. Not printed.
  18. December 12, 1944. This telegram, dated December 13, is printed ante, p. 214.
  19. Points appear in the original.
  20. Ante, pp. 218219.
  21. Points appear in the original.
  22. Points appear in the original.
  23. Points appear in the original.
  24. At this point there appears a paraphrase of the press release printed ante, pp. 218219.
  25. Points appear in the original.
  26. For the text of this agreement, see ante, pp. 251254.
  27. Ante, p. 333.
  28. Points appear in the original.
  29. Points appear in the original.
  30. Points appear in the original.
  31. Cf. ante, pp. 401402.
  32. Points appear in the original.
  33. Points appear in the original.
  34. At this point there appear excerpts from the text of the telegram printed ante, pp. 224225.
  35. See ante, p. 225, footnote 3.
  36. Points appear in the original.
  37. Points appear in the original.
  38. January 3.
  39. Ante, p. 416.
  40. Presumably the memorandum printed ante, pp. 166171.
  41. Ante, p. 295.
  42. Ante, p. 401.
  43. Ante, pp. 401402.
  44. Points appear in the original.
  45. This review by Winant has not been found; but see his telegram to the President dated January 10, 1945, ante, pp. 128129.
  46. Ante, pp. 6668.
  47. See ante, pp. 4243.
  48. Ante, p. 77.
  49. Points appear in the original.
  50. Points appear in the original.
  51. Ante, p. 338.
  52. Ante, pp. 97100.
  53. 500.CC/1–1345, not printed.
  54. Ante, pp. 310315.
  55. Ante, pp. 309310.
  56. Ante, pp. 316317.
  57. 740.00119EW/1–1745, not printed.
  58. Dated January 6, 1945; not printed. For an earlier version of this paper, see ante, pp. 143154. For Winant’s comments on a portion of the paper of January 6, see ante, pp. 132, 133.
  59. Cf. ante, p. 180.