740.00119 P.W./8–1145: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Harriman) to the Secretary of State

M 25259. The British Ambassador49a and I were with Molotov when your message White House 32050 was delivered to me. Molotov was in process of inquiring what the attitude of our respective governments were to the Japanese Government’s proposal. He informed us that the Soviet attitude towards it was “sceptical” since the Soviets did not consider it unconditional surrender, and that the Soviet forces, therefore, were continuing their advance into Manchuria. As this was shortly after midnight, he emphasized that it was the third day of the Soviet campaign which would continue.51 He gave me the definite impression that he was quite willing to have the war continue.

Your message then arrived and it was translated to him. His reaction was noncommittal and suggested that he would give me an answer tomorrow. I told him that this would not be satisfactory and that we wished it tonight. He thereupon agreed to take it up with his Government and attempt to give me an answer tonight. If I do not hear from him in a reasonable time, I will telephone him and keep you informed of the developments.

  1. Sir Archibald J. K. Clark Kerr.
  2. See footnote 44, p. 626.
  3. The campaign began August 9.