760D.6111/3–3048: Telegram

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

top secret

175. Last night Supply Minister Vilhula told Legation officer that Agriculture Minister Viiding yesterday told him he would hereafter fully support Vilhula’s anti-defense pact stand in Cabinet. On March 14 when Cabinet formulated its recommendations re instructions to delegates Agrarian Vilhula and Social Democrats Hiltunen, Takki, Harma and Kallinen opposed any form defense pact with Soviets supporting only friendship cultural treaty (Agrarians Vesterinen, Heljas and Viiding then favored no negotiations defense pact in first stage negotiations). Ten other Cabinet members willing negotiation defense pact included all Democratic Union plus Enckell, Torngren, Kaijalainen and Social Democrat Kilpi. Acting Prime Minister Vesterinen expected continue appeasement (at current new instruction discussions) thus by majority of one or two (Heljas position uncertain) government not expected recommend rejection Molotov proposals unless influenced by President who thus far not attempted influence opinion or acted contrary his February 47 Finnish Soviet Society magazine article which he still regrets having made.

Vilhula convinced Foreign Affairs Committee Diet will not accept Molotov proposals, and to assure achievement this end Vilhula personally intends conferring with committee members today. He also convinced (if negotiations not end at this stage) Diet will not ratify Molotov’s proposed pact. President included statement in instructions [Page 775] to delegates that new treaty in order take effect must be ratified by Parliament accordance Finnish constitution. Diet Agrarians firm in anti-defense pacts stand and are supported by coalition, Progressive and great majority Social Democrats Kekkonen, Vesterinen weakest members Agrarian Party but party Diet members following Vilhula, Koivisto lead, Vilhula who furthest right government minister is member Supreme Lodge Reserve Officers with whom he meeting today1 He says 17,000 reserve officers Finland can be expected prevent any Communist attempt coup through use police.

  1. This sentence appears garbled in the source telegram.