The British Prime Minister (Churchill) to President Roosevelt 98

941. Reference my immediate preceding telegram. Following is Marshal Stalin’s message dated 7 April.

[Page 753]

Your message of 5th April3 received. In my message of 7th April to the President, which I am sending to you also, I have already replied to all the fundamental points raised in your message regarding the negotiations in Switzerland. On the other questions raised in your message I consider it necessary to make the following remarks.

Neither I nor Molotov had any intention of “blackening” anyone. It is not a matter of wanting to “blacken” (anyone) but of our having developed differing points of view as regards the rights and obligations of any ally. You will see from my message to the President that the Russian point of view on this question is the correct one, as it guarantees each ally’s rights and deprives the enemy of any possibility of sowing discord between us.
My messages are personal and strictly confidential. This makes it possible to speak one’s mind clearly and frankly. This is the advantage of confidential communications.

If, however, you are going to regard every frank statement of mine as offensive, it will make this kind of communication very difficult. I can assure you that I had and have no intention of offending anyone.

  1. Copy of telegram obtained from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, N.Y. A marginal notation indicated that this telegram was received in the White House Map Room at 12:03 a.m., Greenwich Mean Time, April 11.
  2. See Churchill, Triumph and Tragedy, p. 449.