The British Foreign Secretary (Eden) to the Soviet Foreign Commissar (Molotov)1
You will remember that during the Moscow conversations of last October, I discussed with you and with Marshal Stalin the question of caring for and repatriating Soviet citizens and British subjects liberated respectively by Allied forces in the south and west and by the Soviet forces in the east of Europe.
Since then our two Governments have exchanged Drafts and on 20th January our Embassy received from your Government a redraft of a Reciprocal Agreement on this matter.2 We have examined this redraft and, subject to what is stated below, I am glad to say that it is generally acceptable. I understand that a similar draft was put forward to the United States Government at the same time.3
In view of the integrated character of the Allied Commands in western and southern Europe, it seems to us essential that any agreement should be tripartite and cover British and United States Combined Commands. We have accordingly prepared a redraft of the text taking as basis your Government’s Draft and making some amendments to cover this point and also to cover certain other points where alterations appear to us necessary.
I have brought with me experts on this matter and I would like to suggest that it should be remitted to them and to experts of your Government and the United States Government with a view to reaching a text which is mutually satisfactory to all three Governments before this Conference breaks up.
On 20th January, your Government also presented to the British Embassy a redraft of the proposed Agreement covering the liberated Soviet citizens in the United Kingdom.4 This redraft is also generally satisfactory, but there are a few points on it which require clarification and amendment. I would suggest that this Agreement should [Page 694] also be remitted to the same British and Soviet experts, so that agreement can be reached upon it during the present Conference.
I hope very much that you will agree with these suggestions and will instruct your experts to meet their British and American colleagues at once. I feel that the conclusion of this Agreement would be a very happy result of the present Conference and would give the greatest satisfaction in our two countries where so many families are affected by them.
I have given a copy of this letter to Mr. Stettinius.
I enclose a copy of the British redraft of the Reciprocal Agreement.5
His Excellency Monsieur V. M. Molotov .
- Carbon copy bearing the notation: “With the Compliments of Mr. Eden.”↩
- Ante, pp. 416–418.↩
- Not printed.↩
- Not found.↩
On a second carbon copy of this “Redraft” in the Department file, article 6 is replaced by the following text (underscoring as in the source paper):
(Redrafted) Article 6
Ex-prisoners of war (with the exception of officers) and civilians of each of the contracting Parties, may until their repatriation, be employed on a voluntary basis on work in the vicinity of their camps in furtherance of the common war effort in accordance with agreements to be reached between the competent Soviet and Allied authorities. The question of payment and conditions of labour shall be determined by agreement between those authorities. It is understood that liberated members of the respective forces will be employed in accordance with the military standards and procedure and under the supervision of their own officers. Any liberated member of the respective forces or civilian who is unwilling to perform such work will be exercised under similar supervision.↩