J. V. Stalin
Source : Correspondence between the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR and the Presidents of the USA and the Prime Ministers of Great Britain during the Great Patriotic War of 1941 - 1945
Publisher : Progress Publishers, Moscow, USSR
Transcription/HTML Markup : Salil Sen for MIA, 2010
Public Domain : Marxists Internet Archive (2010). 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.
Sent on August 4, 1941
The U.S.S.R. attaches great importance to the matter of neutralising Finland and her dissociation from Germany. The severance of relations between Britain and Finland and the blockade of Finland, announced by Britain, have already borne fruit and engendered conflicts among the ruling circles of Finland. Voices are being raised in support of neutrality and reconciliation with the U.S.S.R.
If the U.S. Government were to threaten Finland with a rupture of relations, the Finnish Government would be more resolute in the matter of breaking with Germany. In that case the Soviet Government could make certain territorial concessions to Finland with a view to assuaging her and conclude a new peace treaty 1 with her.
Received on August 15, 1941
We have taken the opportunity afforded by the consideration of the report of Mr Harry Hopkins on his return from Moscow 3 to consult together as to how best our two countries can help your country in the splendid defense that you are putting up against the Nazi attack. We are at the moment cooperating to provide you with the very maximum of supplies that you most urgently need. Already many shiploads have left our shores and more will leave in the immediate future.
We must now turn our minds to the consideration of a more long-term policy, since there is still a long and hard path to be traversed before there can be won that complete victory without which our efforts and sacrifices would be wasted.
The war goes on upon many fronts and before it is over there may be yet further fighting fronts that will be developed. Our resources, though immense, are limited and it must become a question of where and when those resources can best be used to further to the greatest extent our common effort. This applies equally to manufactured war supplies and to raw materials.
The needs and demands of your and our armed services can only be determined in the light of the full knowledge of the many facts which must be taken into consideration in the decisions that we take. In order that all of us may be in a position to arrive at speedy decisions as to the apportionment of our joint resources, we suggest that we prepare a meeting which should be held at Moscow, to which we would send high representatives who could discuss these matters directly with you. If this conference appeals to you, we want you to know that pending the decisions of that conference we shall continue to send supplies and material as rapidly as possible.
We realize fully how vitally important to the defeat of Hitlerism is the brave and steadfast resistance of the Soviet Union and we feel therefore that we must not in any circumstances fail to act quickly and immediately in this matter of planning the program for the future allocation of our joint resources.
Franklin D. ROOSEVELT
Winston S. CHURCHILL
Received on September 30, 1941
My dear Mr Stalin,
This note will be presented to you by my friend Averell Har-riman, whom I have asked to be head of our delegation to Moscow.
Mr Harriman is well aware of the strategic importance of your front and will, I know, do everything that he can to bring the negotiations in Moscow to a successful conclusion.
Harry Hopkins has told me in great detail of his encouraging and satisfactory visits with you. 3 I can't tell you how thrilled all of us are because of the gallant defense of the Soviet armies.
I am confident that ways will be found to provide the material and supplies necessary to fight Hitler on all fronts, including your own.
I want particularly to take this occasion to express my great confidence that your armies will ultimately prevail over Hitler and to assure you of our great determination to be of every possible material assistance.
Yours very sincerely,
Franklin D. ROOSEVELT
My dear Mr Roosevelt,
Your letter has reached me through Mr Harriman.
I avail myself of this opportunity to express to you the Soviet Government's deep gratitude for having entrusted the leadership of the U.S. delegation to such an authoritative person as Mr Harriman, whose participation in the Moscow Three-Power Conference4 was so fruitful.
I have no doubt that you will do all that is necessary to ensure implementation of the Moscow Conference decisions as speedily and fully as possible, all the more because the Hitlerites will certainly try to use the pre-winter months for exerting maximum pressure upon the U.S.S.R. at the front.
Like you, I am confident of final victory over Hitler for the countries now joining their efforts to accelerate the elimination of bloody Hitlerism, a goal for which the Soviet Union is now making such big and heavy sacrifices.
Yours very sincerely,
October 3, 1941
Handed to A. Y. Vyshinsky by the U.S. Ambassador, Mr Steinhardt, on November 2, 1941*
In a personal message to Mr Stalin, President Roosevelt states:
That he has seen the Protocol of the Three-Power Conference in Moscow 4 and has discussed with the members of the American Mission the data set forth therein.
(1) That he has approved all the items of military equipment and munitions and has directed that the raw materials be provided so far as possible as rapidly as possible.
(2) That he has given orders that the deliveries are to begin at once and are to be continued in the largest possible volume.
So as to obviate any financial difficulties he has directed that there be effected immediately arrangements under which shipments may be made under the Lease-Lend Act 5 up to the value of $1,000,000,000.
(1) He proposes, subject to the approval of the Soviet Government, that no interest be charged by the United States on such indebtedness as may be incurred by the Soviet Government arising out of these shipments and that on such indebtedness as the Soviet Government may incur, payments shall begin only five years after the end of the war, and that the payments be made over a period of ten years after the expiration of this five-year period.
(2) The President hopes that the Soviet Government will make special efforts to sell such commodities and raw materials to the United States as may be available and of which the United States may be in need, the proceeds of sales to the United States to be credited on the account of the Government of the Soviet Union.
(3) The President takes the opportunity to thank the Soviet Government for the speedy manner in which the Three-Power Conference in Moscow was conducted by Mr Stalin and his associates and assures him that the implications of that Conference will be carried out to the utmost.
(4) The President expresses the hope that Mr Stalin will not hesitate to communicate with him directly should the occasion require.
Kuibyshev, November 2, 1941
I have not yet received the text of your message, but on November 2 Mr Steinhardt, the United States Ambassador, delivered to me through Mr Vyshinsky an Aide-Memoire giving its substance.
I should like first of all to express complete agreement with your appraisal of the results of the Three-Power Conference in Moscow,4 which should be credited primarily to Mr Harriman and to Mr Beaverbrook who did their best to bring the Conference to an early and successful conclusion. The Soviet Government is most grateful for your statement that the implications of the Conference will be carried out to the utmost.
Your decision, Mr President, to grant the Soviet Union an interest-free loan to the value of $1,000,000,000 to meet deliveries of munitions and raw materials to the Soviet Union is accepted by the Soviet Government with heartfelt gratitude as vital aid to the Soviet Union in its tremendous and onerous struggle gainst our common enemy — bloody Hitlerism.
On instructions from the Government of the U.S.S.R. I express complete agreement with your terms for granting the loan, repayment of which shall begin five years after the end of the war and continue over 10 years after expiration of the five-year period.
The Soviet Government is ready to do everything to supply the United States of America with such commodities and raw materials as are available and as the United States may need.
As regards your wish, Mr President, that direct personal contact be established between you and me without delay if circumstances so require, I gladly join you in that wish and am ready, for my part, to do all in my power to bring it about.
Yours very sincerely,
November 4, 1941
I am happy to inform you that medical supplies in the list prepared by the Medical Supplies Committee of the Three-Power Conference 4 will be provided as rapidly as these supplies can be purchased and shipped, less such portion thereof as the British may provide. Conditions of American supply and production make impossible the immediate purchase of large amounts of certain items requested, but twenty-five per cent of the total list can be provided within thirty to sixty days and the balance in installments during the next eight months.
The American Red Cross is prepared to provide approximately one-third of the total list at an approximate cost of $5,000,000 as a gift of the American people. Acting on my instructions the American Red Cross will procure these supplies with funds placed at my disposal by the Congress and also funds contributed by the American people for relief in the Soviet Union. As the American Red Cross must account to the Congress and to its contributors for the use of these funds and supplies, Wardwell, the Chairman of their Delegation, outlined in a letter to Mr Kolesnikov, of the Soviet Alliance, the kind of cooperative arrangement between the Red Cross societies of our respective countries which is desired. The Red Cross is also transmitting a message to Mr Kolesnikov today pointing out the importance of reasonable observation by the American Red Cross representative of the distribution made of its supplies subject, of course, to all appropriate military considerations. I would deeply appreciate it if your Government can assure me that the desired arrangements are acceptable. I may point out that the procedures proposed by the American Red Cross are the same which are followed with regard to their assistance in Great Britain and other countries.
On the basis indicated, the American Red Cross is prepared to consider further substantial assistance in the Soviet Union as needs develop and requests are made.
November 6, 1941
Sent on November 14, 1941
Your message about the favourable decision taken by the American Red Cross concerning delivery of medical supplies reached me on November 11.
The Soviet Government has no objection to establishing the organisational forms of cooperation between the Red Cross societies of our two countries, it being understood that it will be organised in accordance with the exchange of letters the text of which was agreed early in November by Red Cross representatives of both countries in Kuibyshev.
Received on December 16, 1941
It is extremely important, in my view, to take immediate steps for the purpose of paving the way not only for joint operations in the coming weeks, but also for the final defeat of Hitlerism. 6 I should like very much to see you and talk it over personally with you, but since at the moment this is impossible I am taking three preliminary steps which, I hope, will lead to more permanent joint planning.
I am suggesting to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek that he should immediately convene in Chungking a conference of Chinese, Soviet, British, Dutch and U.S. representatives. This group should get together not later than December 17 and report the results to their Governments absolutely confidentially by Saturday, December 20. That should give us a preliminary idea of the general problem from the Chungking angle.
2. I am asking the British to call a naval conference at Singapore which could by Saturday, December 20, submit its report to be compiled chiefly in terms of operations in the southern zone.
3. I would be very glad if you talked this over personally with the United States, British and Chinese Ambassadors in Moscow and let me know your proposals for the whole problem by Saturday, the 20th.
4. In a week or so I will be discussing the same problems with the British Missions here and will inform you of the situation as it appears from here. I had a good talk with Litvinov and I fully understand your immediate tasks. I want to tell you once more about the genuine enthusiasm throughout the United States for the success of your armies in the defense of your great nation. I flatter myself with the hope that the preliminary conferences I have scheduled for the next week will lead to a more permanent organisation for the planning of our efforts. Hopkins and I send you our personal warm regards.
Sent on December 17, 1941
I received your message on December 16. It did not indicate the aims of the conferences to be called in Chungking and Moscow and as they were to open overnight I saw fit when I met Mr Eden, who had just arrived in Moscow, 7 to ask him what those aims were and whether the two conferences could be put off for a while. It appeared, however, that Mr Eden was not posted either. I should like, therefore, to have the appropriate elucidations from you in order to ensure the results expected from Soviet participation.
Thank you for the sentiments expressed over the Soviet armies' successes.
I wish you success in the struggle against the aggression in the Pacific.
Personal warm regards to you and Mr Hopkins. 8
1. This Stalin message was followed by talks on August 19, 1941, between K. A. Oumansky, Soviet Ambassador to the U.S.A., and Mr Sumner Welles, U.S. Under Secretary of State. Oumansky reported the talks to the People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. as follows:
"On behalf of the President Mr Welles gave this reply to my secret letter to the President on Comrade Stalin's behalf, delivered while Mr Roosevelt was on the ocean, concerning Finland.
"On instructions from the President he, Mr Welles, had a few days before invited the Finnish Minister, Procope, and informed him that, according to the information available to the U.S. Government, the U.S.S.R. was determined to fight relentlessly against aggression, including aggression in the northern sector, and that the Finnish Government should have no doubts on the matter. The U.S. Government considered, furthermore, that the U.S.S.R. was certain to win in this struggle. (Mr Welles made it clear that he, acting on instructions from Mr Roosevelt, had expressed himself in these terms to the Finnish Minister so that the Finns should not construe the U.S. demarche as an indication of Soviet weakness.) Mr Welles went on to tell Procope that continuation of war by Finland against the U.S.S.R. on the side of Germany was not in keeping with the interests of Finland and her independence, would be fatal for U.S.-Finnish relations, and would deliver an irreparable blow to Finnish popularity in the U.S.A. But if the Finnish Government were to revert to the way of peace, then, as far as the U.S. Government was aware, the Soviet Government would be willing to conclude a new peace treaty with territorial modifications. When I asked whether he had mentioned to the Finn the danger of the U.S.A. severing diplomatic relations with Finland, Mr Welles said that, in concurrence with the President, he had reserved that until the Finnish Government's reply was received, and that the threat of a rupture, already decided on in principle, would be the U.S. Government's next step."
2. In Placentia Bay (Newfoundland) on August 9 -12, 1941, President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill held a meeting known as the Atlantic Conference. They discussed further United States and British plans in connection with the radical change in the international situation following the Soviet Union's entry into the war against Hitler Germany. They coordinated the foreign policies of their two countries, and declared their war aims. On August 14, 1941, they adopted and made known a joint declaration (the Atlantic Charter), containing "certain common principles in the national policies of their respective countries". On September 24, 1941, the Soviet Government announced its concurrence with the basic principles of the Atlantic Charter.
At their Atlantic Conference the two leaders discussed the question of supplying arms and materiel to the Soviet Union. The joint message by Roosevelt and Churchill given between these covers was a result of this discussion.
3. Harry Hopkins visited Moscow in July 1941 as President Roosevelt's personal representative and was received by J. V. Stalin.
4. That is, the conference between Soviet, British and U.S. representatives held in Moscow over September 29-October 1, 1941, to discuss reciprocal deliveries of war materials.
5. The writer refers to the Lend-Lease Act, adopted by the U.S. Congress on March 11, 1941. The Act empowered the U.S. Government to lend or lease to other countries various articles and materials essential to their defence, provided their defence was, according to the definition of the President, vital to U.S. defence. In November 1941 the Lend-Lease Act was extended to include the Soviet Union.
6. Following Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor and the declaration of war on the USA by Germany and Italy, the USA became a belligerent in the Second World War.
7. Negotiations were held in Moscow between Joseph Stalin and Britain's Foreign Minister Anthony Eden on December 16-20, 1941 relating to Anglo-Soviet treaties of wartime alliance against Germany and postwar cooperation. The negotiations were broken off due to Britain's refusal to recognise the Soviet western frontier of 1941.
8. President Roosevelt had not replied to this Stalin message.