G/PM Files, Lot 68 D 349

President Truman to Mr. Winston S. Churchill1

Dear Mr. Churchill: I have given most careful consideration to the request contained in your letter to me of February twelfth, 1951, for publication of the Quebec Agreement. While I appreciate and have given full weight to the considerations prompting your request, I am forced to the conclusion that the Agreement should not be made public at this time.

It is true, as you say, that the Agreement recognized certain problems of cooperation in this field after the termination of hostilities. The resolution of these problems has been, and continues to be, a matter of discussion and arrangement between the Governments of the United Kingdom and the United States. Publication of the Agreement would be misleading unless it were also decided to make public the current status of cooperation and collaboration among the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States in the field of atomic energy. Indeed, it would be exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to resist pressures to make known this information once the Agreement were made public. I feel strongly that in present circumstances such a development would be seriously prejudicial to the interests of the United Kingdom and the United States as well as to our Allies under the North Atlantic Treaty.

I wish to express the appreciation of the United States and my own personal gratification for your far seeing and generous support for the granting of air base rights in East Anglia to the United States. I have been informed that the understandings that have been arrived at [Page 704] concerning these air base rights are mutually satisfactory to the political and military authorities of the two Governments.

I am moved by the sentiments you express concerning the turn of events in Korea and your gratitude for the Eisenhower appointment, developments of great significance to our common cause.

Most sincerely,

Harry S. Truman
  1. The source text is a copy of the signed original sent by the White House to the Secretary of State on March 26 for transmittal to Churchill. This text, which constituted President Truman’s official reply to Churchill’s letter of February 12 (p. 693), was identical with a Department of State draft left with the President by Secretary Acheson on March 23.

    In telegram 5383, April 11, Walter S. Gifford, United States Ambassador in the United Kingdom, transmitted an acknowledgment by Churchill of receipt of the present communication and of a “personal answer which preceded it.” Churchill indicated that he would not continue to press the issue at that time. (G/PM Files, Lot 68 D 349) Truman’s personal answer has not been found in Department of State files.