198. Telegram From the Embassy in Finland to the Department of State0

269. Re Embtel 251.1 At request of Prime Minister Fagerholm, I discussed with him fact that US will not offer assistance in such manner to create situation in which US and USSR would appear engaged in economic struggle over Finland. I said that our purpose was to consider [Page 520] extending limited economic assistance along lines set forth in reference telegram if in judgment of Finnish leaders this would enable Finland to withstand Soviet economic pressures to force changes in Finnish Government. I did not mention a figure, nor did he request me to, for “limited dollar loan assistance.” I did say that although available funds are limited, US Government might consider seeking further funds from Congress, if required, and that Finland’s excellent reputation in US should facilitate favorable action. Fagerholm expressed deep appreciation proposals. He said that he had reluctantly decided that “minor” changes in government should be made but that he would not be a party to major change in alignment. He says Agrarians want him to offer resignation of Cabinet but he will not do so; if Agrarian Ministers resign, then he will have to resign but then the responsibility will be “on them where it belongs.” He said that Cabinet negotiations may go on several days and the final outcome is anybody’s guess. He concluded by saying that of course in his view there could be no question of a popular front government with communist participation. He lamented lack of coverage in “certain high places” (i.e. the President).

I told Fagerholm that purpose of US proposals was to help Finn Government resist Soviet economic pressure and avoid changes in Cabinet under such pressure; that if substantial changes in fact occurred, a new situation might be created and US Government would have to consider whether its present proposals were appropriate. He indicated complete understanding.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 860E.10/12–358. Secret.
  2. Document 197.