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

289. Re Embtels 285 and 286.1 While President in his references to Western aid doubtless had in mind, among other things, the US offer (Deptel 231)2 and possibly other offers including one reported from West Germany, his thinking was such as to place emphasis on press with result that only those officials who know of these offers would recognize the importance of the words “and otherwise” following mention of press.

Statement clearly constituted rejection, under present circumstances, of US contingency package program. President appears expect that Government changes will satisfy Soviets and bring alleviation pressure. If this not true and Soviets demand unacceptable concessions, President may decide or be forced turn to US although he certainly would insist that all appearances political strings be avoided. His references to need for non-political economic aid presumably intended primarily to protect position re such normal transactions as IBRD loan and PL 480 sales but could be used in extremity as cover for piecemeal acceptance US special assistance along lines submitted. I expect however that resort to US will come, if at all, only after all hope appeasing Soviets exhausted. I therefore continue to feel that proper course for us for time being is to sit tight (Embtel 283).3

It goes without saying that I feel that there was an element of dirty pool based on partisan considerations in the President’s publicly airing aid issue, particularly the overtones on “intervention”.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 660E.61/12–1158. Secret; Priority.
  2. See Document 201.
  3. See footnote 1, Document 200.
  4. Document 200.