894.30/10–2145: Telegram

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

2199. Reurtel 3617, October 21, 7 p.m., following is text of Molotov’s communication to me of October 19:

“I have received your message regarding the Japanese fleet on October 18th.

Having considered the proposal of the Government of the United States regarding the scuttling of the vessels of the Japanese fleet, the Soviet Government is ready to agree that the large vessels of the Japanese navy such as battleships and cruisers as well as Japanese submarines be scuttled. As regards the remaining part of the Japanese navy the Soviet Government has claim that one-fourth of the vessels of this Japanese fleet, beginning with destroyers and floating vessels of lesser tonnage be transferred to the Soviet Union.

The Soviet Government would also like to receive information as to how it is proposed to handle the Japanese merchant marine.”