760D.6111/2–1348: Telegram

The Minister in Finland (Warren) to the Secretary of State


50. Secretary General Foreign Office Voionmaa just informed me in long conversation this morning that under instructions from Foreign Minister he is cabling today all Finnish diplomatic missions circular directive advising them deny rumors of Finnish pact, military or otherwise, with Soviet Union. For my background information he said Cabinet decision has been taken not proceed with any pact although “some sectors in government and in Diet have been and are pressing in favor of such proposal”.

He said also while it is little early understand full significance appointment Savonenkov as Soviet Minister Finland, such inference as now available indicates appointment was made (1) as gesture of support to Finnish Communist Party in forthcoming Diet election now scheduled for July, (2) to promote degree of nervousness that has already borne fruit by large crop press rumors in past three weeks.

Replying my question whether Cabinet will make relatively minor current Diet issue re compulsory feeling [sic] of firewood question of confidence he said “yes”.1 Said this and other relatively minor questions may be made occasion of almost weekly votes confidence until election because (1) Cabinet as group is tired and many of them would like be relieved of responsibilities; (2) Cabinet feels Diet not giving support they should expect and they intend offer challenge of confidence whenever possible.

Sent Department as 50; repeated Moscow as 9, Oslo as 11, Stockholm as 8.

  1. The reference here is to a bill, presented by the Cabinet on October 3, 1947, which would have instituted government control of fuel supplies. Despite Cabinet attempts to secure quick passage, the bill was delayed in the Diet. On May 4, 1948, the Cabinet withdrew the bill because it could no longer be passed in time to affect the winter’s supply of firewood.