Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Karl L. Anderson, Adviser on Supplies, International Resources Division


Participants: Dr. K. T. Jutila, Finnish Minister
Dr. V. O. Jarvinen, Commercial Adviser to Consulate General of Finland, New York
Mr. Karl L. Anderson, IR

Upon Dr. Jarvinen’s invitation, I met him for luncheon on Tuesday, March 8. When I arrived at the restaurant I found that Dr. Jutila had come with Dr. Jarvinen.

It was a little hard for me to figure out precisely what Dr. Jarvinen and Dr. Jutila had on their minds. The Minister absorbed the greater part of the conversation during most of the lunch period, commenting at considerable length upon the recent changes in Moscow.1 His comments in this regard certainly were not intended to convey any particular information or to make any particular point—they were merely conversational. One theme, however, to which he recurred a number of times, was that in interpreting the changes in Moscow, the rivalry between the Russians and the Caucasians should not be ignored. It was his personal opinion that the Russian element (i.e., the aggressive element) had been kept in check as a result of the new appointments. The Minister commented briefly also upon the rumors of Soviet troop concentration at the Finland border, which rumors he was not inclined to take seriously, and upon the political situation within Finland, upon which his comments were both brief and, I thought, cautious.

Throughout this part of the conversation Dr. Jarvinen appeared a little impatient. He looked as if he wanted to urge the Minister to come to the point. Noticing this, I took occasion to ask Dr. Jarvinen whether there were any particular export license problems about which he wanted to talk with me, and he appeared glad to have the question asked. He at once said that although there were two or three cases to be discussed with the Commerce licensing officers, there were none of any importance and none which he wanted to discuss with me. The Minister joined in immediately to say that they had received a large number of licenses from the Department of Commerce within the past few days and were very grateful to receive them. Both the Minister and Dr. Jarvinen stated that they felt their main problems to be solved [Page 92] now in an entirely satisfactory way.2 Dr. Jutila asked me whether it would be a good idea for him to talk with Secretary Sawyer,3 to thank him for his cooperation, and I told him that I thought this would be entirely appropriate, commenting that every man, no matter how sour, likes to be thanked for doing things.

Dr. Jutila then went on to say a rather odd thing. He said that Finland would be in the best position if only there could be reasonable assurance of supplies of goods sufficient to meet immediate short-term requirements; it was not necessary, he said, for there to be anything more than this. He indicated that if there were more than this, there might be some danger to Finland. I commented that in the case of some programs recently established we had necessarily limited approval to the short-term requirements, and that I was glad to have his approval of this practice. I was especially interested in this comment of the Minister’s, because I had asked Dr. Jarvinen about essentially the same matter only two or three weeks ago. The question I asked him was whether Finland would like to be treated the same way as the United Kingdom in matters of export licensing. He had answered quite flatly, “No; that would be dangerous for Finland.”

My impression is that Dr. Jarvinen must have spoken to the Minister about the question I had asked, and the Minister must have considered the point significant enough to warrant his making comment himself. Certainly there did not appear to be any reason other than this for our meeting on Tuesday.

Karl L. Anderson
  1. The reference here is presumably to the changes in leadership in the Soviet Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade announced March 5–6. Regarding these changes, see p. 584.
  2. Regarding the procedures for the liberalization of control of exports to Finland, see Advisory Committee for Requirements Program Determination No. 118, March 3, supra.
  3. Charles Sawyer, Secretary of Commerce.