The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador ( Halifax )

Dear Lord Halifax: I have your letter of April 20th on the warning to the Germans about prisoners of war. As I am telling Anthony today,15 the text and publication have been cleared through the Combined Chiefs of Staff. The message may be issued immediately as far as the United States is concerned.

The French Embassy yesterday afternoon advised the State Department that the French Government would like to be associated with the three signers of the warning. There is no objection to this on our part, provided Marshal Stalin is consulted and agrees. I have advised the French Embassy that they should pursue the matter in [Page 708] London and that it is up to them to try to make arrangements with your Government and the Russian Government without delaying the matter.

With best wishes always,

Sincerely yours,

E. R. Stettinius, Jr.

[Mr. Molotov arrived at Washington airport a little before 6 p.m. on April 22. He was met by Secretary of State Stettinius and other officials, and was received by the President at the White House. Later that evening Mr. Eden joined Messrs. Stettinius and Molotov at the Department of State for a discussion regarding Poland. The minutes of this meeting (volume V, page 237) include no reference to the tripartite warning to Germany concerning Allied prisoners of war, but final agreement to its issuance on the following day seems to have been reached at about this time.]

  1. No memorandum of this meeting has been found in Department files, but in his personal Record the Secretary of State wrote as follows: “At my meeting with Eden and Cadogan on Saturday the twenty-first, in preparation for our conversations with Molotov, we reviewed the question of releasing the warning on German treatment of war prisoners. Mr. Dunn said that France had asked to participate. We were willing to agree to this request if the French could obtain British and Russian permission without delay.—We discussed also the timing of the withdrawal of British and United States forces into our own occupation zones: reparations; war criminals; and the status of the French request for part of the American zone of occupation.” (Lot 60 D 224, Box 17951)