The British Prime Minister (Churchill) to President Roosevelt 75

901. 1. Accept my deep sympathy in your personal loss through the death of General Watson.76 I know how much this will grieve you.

2. You will probably see the accounts of our three days’ debate77 which began yesterday. Today 21 Conservatives are moving a hostile [Page 132]amendment in favour of Poland,78 and Greenwood,79 who speaks for the Labour Party, made a foolish and hostile speech.80 We shall no doubt defeat the amendment by an overwhelming majority.81 Nevertheless there is a good deal of uneasiness in both parties that we are letting the Poles down, etc.

3. In these circumstances it is of the utmost importance that as many representative Poles as possible should be invited as soon as possible to the consultations in Moscow and, above all, that Mikolajczyk who is the leading test case should be invited. The London Polish Government is of course trying to prevent any Poles leaving here for Moscow or Poland, and is playing for a breakdown.

4. Clark Kerr telegraphs that Molotov spontaneously offers to allow British and American observers to go into Poland and see what is going on for themselves. I think this is of the highest importance. Nor can I feel that the acceptance of the offer would imply any recognition of the Lublin Government. There are many stories put about of wholesale deportations by the Russians and of liquidations by the Lublin Poles of elements they do not like, and I have no means of verifying or contradicting these assertions.

5. I do hope you have benefited by the voyage82 and will return refreshed. The battle seems to be going well and I propose to visit the front at the weekend, seeing both Eisenhower83 and Montgomery.84 I cannot help feeling there might easily be a good break through in the west. Every good wish to you and all. I hope Harry85 is recovering.

  1. Copy of telegram obtained from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, N.Y.
  2. Maj. Gen. Edwin M. Watson, Military Aide and Secretary to President Roosevelt, who died on February 20, 1945.
  3. For the record of the House of Commons debate regarding the Crimea Conference (February 27–March 1, 1945), see Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons, 5th series, vol. 408, cols. 1267–1675 passim.
  4. Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons, 5th series, vol. 408, cols. 1421–1422.
  5. Arthur Greenwood, Member of Parliament for Wakefield; Deputy Leader and Acting Chairman of the Labour Party.
  6. Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons, 5th series, vol. 408, cols. 1295–1303.
  7. The amendment was defeated 396 to 25. See ibid., cols. 1515–1520.
  8. Returning to the United States following the conclusion of the Yalta Conference, President Roosevelt travelled from Alexandria, Egypt, to Norfolk, Virginia, aboard the cruiser U.S.S. Quincy.
  9. General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower, Commanding General, European Theater of Operations, and Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force.
  10. Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery, Commander in Chief, British 21st Army Group.
  11. Harry L. Hopkins, Special Assistant to President Roosevelt.