760D.6111/4–2748: Telegram

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


273. Diet Foreign Affairs Committee member Pohjala states committee report re pact completed yesterday only after troubled three hour session during which Agrarian coalition and Progressives parties able force inclusion in committee’s report statement saying majority Diet members don’t consider Finnish Soviet pact necessary. When ratification question comes Diet Wednesday, present prospects are that there won’t be more than 15 to 18 votes anti-ratification though probably some Diet members including various Social Democrats will absent themselves from chamber in order not be on record for having voted or abstained. Progressive leader, Kauppi, persistently trying muster negative votes, but Pohjala doubts whether few anti-votes he’ll get would be considered tangible evidence Finn anti-pact feeling. Very discouraged Pohjala thinks abstention probably better because more Diet members can be persuaded follow this method.

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Pohjala feels pact distinctly Paasikivi’s not Finnish people’s accomplishment. His deputies pushing ratification have been Fagerholm, Kekkonen. Pohjala blames Social Democrats for Finland entering negotiations and now for agreeing ratification. She also thinks Swedish peoples party and Swedophile Fagerholm encouraged by Swedes and Swedish circles Helsinki approve pact feeling if Finland accepts pact then USSR won’t encroach further Scandinavia. Pohjala credits Truman mention Finland in March speech1 with getting Finland as generous treatment from USSR as she received.

After treaty ratification Finnish political currents all flow toward July elections which Pohjala feels will express Finnish people’s real attitude toward pact. Pohjala hopes US won’t cut credits or otherwise penalize Finland because of pact at least until after elections because this plays directly into Communist hands. Recent US reported refusal sell 46 war surplus locomotives Finland strengthened parliamentary fears that Finnish relations with US and west will fade as result pact.

Re possible Communist coup attempt Pohjala says Paasikivi has given Sihvo2 signed mobilization order for use emergency should president be incommunicado. She also confirmed previous report measure for counteraction against Communists well organized.

  1. The reference here is to President Truman’s speech delivered before a joint session of the Congress March 17, 1948. For the text of this speech see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Harry 8. Truman, 1948 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1964), pp. 182–186.
  2. Gen. Aarne Sihvo, Commander in Chief of the Finnish Defense Forces.