740.00119 Control (Finland)/4–345: Telegram

The United States Representative in Finland (Hamilton)91 to the Secretary of State

142. Your 46, March 30, 7 p.m.92 Believe assignment at this time of army officer to carry on military intelligence in Finland not advisable. [Page 629] Russian and British military have under armistice agreement clear basis for express activities here. An American army officer would lack such basis and intelligence activities by him would likely arouse Russian suspicion that we wished to watch their conduct. In present circumstances not advisable for American Government representatives here to approach Finns for military intelligence. Russians would not be likely to furnish such information locally.… While eventual assignment of military observer or adviser may become desirable, and I personally would welcome it, foregoing is present situation as I see it.94

While I doubt whether returns would justify the effort, an officer from our military mission at Moscow might, if Ambassador Harriman approves and if arrangements could be made in Moscow with Soviet authorities, visit the Control Commission here for a few weeks.

I believe that MID95 interests could best be taken care of at present by an assignment such as suggested in my 87, March 10, noon.96


[In a message of May 27, 1945 (see ante, page 233), Marshal Stalin informed President Truman that he considered it practical to reestablish diplomatic relations immediately with Bulgaria, Rumania, and Finland, and somewhat later with Hungary. President Truman replied on June 7 that he was ready to enter into diplomatic relations with Finland at once, but was not prepared to do so with the other countries named because of the internal situations of those countries. On June 9 Marshal Stalin answered that he was opposed to any preference being shown Finland in this matter. For texts of the messages of June 7 and June 9, see Conference of Berlin (Potsdam), volume I, page 358, footnote 5. For further documentation on the subject of Finland’s relations with the Allies, see ibid., pages 357434, passim.]

  1. Mr. Hamilton arrived in Helsinki on February 24, 1945.
  2. Not printed; in this telegram the Department informed Mr. Hamilton that the Military Intelligence Division of the War Department General Staff had expressed interest in the eventual assignment of a military observer in Helsinki. Mr. Hamilton’s views were requested. (740.00119 Control (Finland)/3–3045)
  3. Later, in telegram 259, May 28, 4 p.m., from Helsinki, Hamilton advised that in his opinion the “situation has progressed to point where if War Department desires to assign Military Attaché or adviser (not observer)” this action would be all right. Such an officer would not find a “great deal to do but some useful information obtainable.” (740.00119 Control (Finland)/5–2845)
  4. Military Intelligence Division.
  5. Not printed.