J. V. Stalin

Replies to Questions put by Mr. Elliot Roosevelt, in an Interview

December 21, 1946

Source: J. V. Stalin on Post-War International Relations
Publisher: Soviet News, 1947
Transcription/Markup: Brian Reid for MIA, 2008
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2008). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

At an interview with J. V. Stalin in the Kremlin on December 21, 1946 Mr. Elliott Roosevelt put 12 questions. These, together with Stalin’s answers, were published in the American Magazine “Look” and then broadcast by Moscow Radio.

1. Question: Do you believe it is possible for a democracy such as the United States to live peaceably side by side in this world with a communistic form of government like the Soviet Union's and with no attempt on the part of either to interfere with the internal political affairs of the other?

Answer: Yes, of course. This is not only possible. It is wise and entirely within the bounds of realisation. In the most strenuous times during the war the differences in government did not prevent our two nations from joining together and vanquishing our foes. Even more so is it possible to continue this relationship in time of peace.

2. Question: Do you believe that the success of the United Nations depends upon agreement as to fundamental policies and aims between the Soviet Union, Britain and the United States?

Answer: Yes, I think so. In many respects the fate of the United Nations as an organisation depends upon a state of harmony being reached by those three powers.

3. Question: Do you believe, Generalissimo Stalin, that an important step toward world peace would be the attainment of economic agreement of broader scope for the interchange of manufactured and raw materials between our two countries?

Answer: Yes, I believe that it would be an important step for the establishment of world peace. Of course, I agree. The expansion of world trade would benefit in many respects the development of good relations between our two countries.

4. Question: Is the Soviet Union in favour of the immediate creation by the United Nations Security Council of an international police force composed of all the United Nations, which would step in immediately wherever armed warfare threatens peace?

Answer: Of course.

5. Question: If you believe that the atomic bomb should be controlled by the United Nations, should not they, through inspection, control all research and manufacturing facilities for armaments of any nature and the peace-time use and development of atomic energy?

(At this point Mr. Elliott Roosevelt parenthetically says: “Stalin shot back at me a quick question: ‘In general?’ I said, ‘Yes, but, especially as to agreement an principle by Russia to such a plan.’”)

Answer: Of course. To the principle of equality no exception should be made in the case of Russia. Russia should be subject to the same rules of inspection and control as any other nation must.

(At this point Mr. Elliott Roosevelt parenthetically says: “There was no hesitancy in his answer. And no question of reserving the right of veto was even mentioned.”)

6. Question: Do you think it would serve a useful purpose if another Big Three meeting was held for discussion of all international problems at present threatening peace in the world?

Answer: I think there should not be one meeting, but several; they would serve a useful purpose.

(Here Mr. Elliott Roosevelt parenthetically says: “At this point my wife asked whether he thought that such meetings would help towards achieving closer relations at lower levels among officials of the respective Governments. She also asked whether such a result was achieved by the wartime conferences. His answer came with a smile in her direction: ‘There is no doubt of that, the wartime meetings and the results achieved greatly helped co-operation at lower levels.’”)

7. Question: Sir, I know you are a student of many other political and social problems existing in other countries. And so I should like to ask whether you feel that the elections in the United States last November indicate a swing away, on the part of the people, from belief in the policies of Roosevelt and towards the isolationist policies of his political adversaries?

Answer: I am not so well acquainted with the internal life of the people of the United States, but I would think the election indicated that the present Government was wasting the moral and political capital created by the late President, and thus it facilitated the victory of the Republicans.

(At this point Mr. Elliott Roosevelt parenthetically says: “In answering my next question Generalissimo Stalin became very emphatic.”)

8. Question: To what do you ascribe the lessening of friendly relations and understanding between our two countries since the death of Roosevelt?

Answer: I feel that if this question relates to the relations and understanding between the American and Russian peoples, no deterioration has taken place, but on the contrary relations have improved. As to the relations between the two Governments, there have been misunderstandings. A certain deterioration has taken place, and then great noise has been raised that their relations would even deteriorate still further. But I see nothing frightful about this in the sense of violation of peace or military conflict.

Not a single Great Power, even if its Government is anxious to do so, could et present raise a large army to fight another Allied Power, another Great Power, because at present one cannot possibly fight without one’s people—and the people are unwilling to fight. They are tired of war.

Moreover, there are no understandable objectives to justify anew war. One would not know for what he had to fight, and therefore I see nothing frightful in the fact that sonic representatives of the United States Government are talking about deterioration of relations between us.

In view of all these considerations I think the danger of a new war is unreal.

9. Question: Do you favour a broad exchange of cultural and scientific information between our two nations? Also, do you favour exchange of students, artists, scientists and professors?

Answer: of course.

10. Question: Should the United States and the Soviet Union form a common long-term policy of aid to the peoples of the Far East?

Answer: I feel it will be useful if it is possible. In any case our Government is ready to pursue a common policy with the United States in Far Eastern questions.

11. Question: If a systcm of loans or credits is arranged between the United States and the Soviet Union, would such agreements have lasting benefit to United States economy?

Answer: A system of such credits is of course mutually advantageous both to the United States and to the Soviet Union

(Here Mr. Elliott Roosevelt parenthetically says: “I then asked the question that is creating obvious concern in many countries of Europe.”)

12. Question: Does the failure in the American and British zones of occupied Germany to carry out denazification give serious cause for alarm to the Soviet Government?

Answer: No, it has not been a cause for serious alarm, but of course it is unpleasant for the Soviet Union that part of our common programme is not being put into effect.