RSC Lot 60 D 224, Box 100
Extracts From the Diary of Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., Secretary of State, December 1, 1944–July 3, 1945
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To Eden and Cadogan I reported Ambassador Harriman’s view that Molotov had not wanted to come to San Francisco at all and had objected when Stalin first suggested it.79 He had also “made difficulties” when Stalin authorized him to discuss the Polish question.80 Mr. Eden optimistically remarked that, since Ambassador Harriman and Molotov had left Moscow,81 the joint message of the President and the Prime Minister82 had been received, Mikolajczyk83 had accepted the Yalta compromise, and undoubtedly a cable would be awaiting Molotov in Washington advising him of Stalin’s reaction.…
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Returning to the Polish question, we called in Mr. Bohlen. According to Mr. Eden, progress on this problem was essential before San Francisco if the Conference was to be a success. Final solution was not to be expected, but we should be able to make “a step forward”. I reported that I had discussed the matter that morning with President Truman, who was prepared to tell Molotov that failure to reach an early agreement on the Polish Government would jeopardize the Conference and would react adversely on American public opinion. Furthermore, there would be little chance of a treaty on world organization being approved by the Senate. Truman felt that continued failure to settle this question endangered the entire U.S. position in taking its place at the world council table. Mr. [Page 294] Eden said this was fine. We should stand on the general lines of the joint message from Truman and Churchill.
Mr. Bohlen saw considerable significance in the delay in Molotov’s arrival, because the head of the Polish Lublin Government had been called to Moscow. He suspected the Russians were going to announce their mutual assistance pact with the Lublin Government84 before Molotov arrived. Mr. Eden felt announcement of the pact would have a bad effect on British opinion.
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… Molotov actually arrived at the Washington airport a little before six o’clock.85 Messrs. Dunn, Harriman, Clark-Kerr86 and Gromyko were with me when I met him. The rest of the plans worked out as scheduled. After our talk with the President,87 Molotov went across the street with me to the State Department, where we were joined by Anthony Eden for a conference which lasted about an hour and a half.88
Various Developments Abroad
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In my meeting with Anthony Eden and Sir Alexander Cadogan in my office on the twenty-first, I asked Mr. Eden for his interpretation of our agreement at Yalta to “support” the Soviet request for the Ukraine and White Russia to be initial members of the international organization. He felt that, while we had agreed to support the Soviet request, we were not obliged to insist on approval of it to the extent of breaking up the Conference if the other nations would not go along. The vote itself, and a short statement of the reasons for our position, would suffice. I said we were in agreement on this issue.
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- No memorandum of meeting of April 21 found in Department files.↩
- Mr. Eden’s arrival date was April 15, according to his message of that date to Prime Minister Churchill reporting on his conversation with Secretary Stettinius, in Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War: Triumph and Tragedy, p. 483.↩
- See telegram 1189, April 16, 4 p.m., from Moscow, vol. v, p. 223.↩
- For memoranda of conversations with Mr. Molotov, April 22 and 23, regarding the Polish question, see ibid., pp. 235 and 256, respectively.↩
- Ambassador Harriman informed the Secretary of State in his telegram 1189, April 16, 4 p.m., ibid., p. 223, that Mr. Molotov was planning to leave for Washington at dawn on April 17 and that he had insisted on taking the northern route across Siberia and Alaska to the United States as it was a Soviet route, although it would take two days longer than across the Atlantic.↩
- See draft message from President Truman to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union quoting text of the proposed joint message, ibid., p. 219; see also Memoirs by Harry S. Truman, vol. i, pp. 38–39.↩
- The United Kingdom and the United States had suggested that Stanislaw Mikolajczyk, former Prime Minister of the Polish Government in London and subsequently leader of the Polish Peasant Party (in exile), participate in the hoped-for consultations in Moscow regarding the reorganization of the Polish Provisional Government. For documentation on this subject, see vol. v, pp. 110 ff.↩
- Treaty of friendship and mutual assistance, signed in Moscow, April 21, 1945 (United Nations Treaty Series, vol. 12, p. 391; Department of State, Documents and State Papers, vol. i, p. 231). See telegram 1289, April 21, 4 p.m., from Moscow, vol. v. p. 234.↩
- Sunday, April 22.↩
- W. Averell Harriman, and Sir Archibald Clark Kerr, American and British Ambassadors in the Soviet Union, respectively, had come to Washington for consultation on matters concerning the Soviet Union, and to serve as advisers to their delegations at the United Nations Conference at San Francisco.↩
- President Truman received each of the Foreign Ministers of the three sponsoring Governments of the San Francisco Conference and Foreign Minister Bidault of France, during their stay in Washington, en route to the Conference. For President Truman’s account of meetings with Mr. Eden on April 16 and 22, Mr. Soong on April 19, Mr. Bidault on April 19, and Mr. Molotov on April 22 and 23, see Memoirs by Harry S. Truman, vol. i, pp. 37–38, 66, and 74–82.↩
- For minutes of discussion regarding Poland at the meeting of Mr. Stettinius, Mr. Eden and Mr. Molotov, April 22, 9:50 p.m. to 11:40 p.m., see vol. v, p. 237.↩