The Yalta (Crimea) Conference
The Yalta (Crimea) Conference
(February 4-11, 1945)
February 4, 1945
Stalin asked Roosevelt to open the sitting.
Roosevelt said that neither law nor history envisaged that he should open conferences. It was pure chance that he had opened the Conference at Tehran. He, Roosevelt, considered it a great honour to open the present Conference. He would like to start by expressing his gratitude for the hospitality accorded him.
The leaders of the three Powers, said Roosevelt, already understood each other well and their mutual understanding was growing. They all wanted an early end of the war and stable peace. That was why the participants in the Conference were able to start their unofficial talks. He, Roosevelt, believed the talks should be frank. Experience showed that frankness in talks made for an early achievement of good decisions. The participants in the Conference would have the maps of Europe, Asia and Africa before them. The day's sitting, however, was to be devoted to the situation on the Eastern front, where the troops of the Red Army had been advancing with such success. He, Roosevelt, asked someone to report on the situation at the Soviet-German front.
Stalin replied that he could offer a report by Army General Antonov, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Red Army.
Antonov: "1. On January 12-15, the Soviet forces went over to the offensive on a 700-kilometre front between the Niemen River and the Carpathians.
"General Chernyakhovsky's troops were advancing on Königsberg.
"Marshal Rokossovsky's troops were advancing along the northern bank of the Vistula, cutting off East Prussia from Germany's central areas.
"Marshal Zhukov's troops were advancing south of the Vistula towards Poznan.
"Marshal Konev's troops were advancing on Czestochowa and Breslau.
"General Petrov's troops were advancing on Nowy Targ in the area of the Carpathians.
"The main blow was struck by the forces under Rokossovsky, Zhukov and Konev on a 300-kilometre front between Ostroleka and Krakow.
"2. Because of the unfavourable weather conditions, the operation had been planned for the end of January, when an improvement in the weather had been expected.
"Since the operation had been regarded and prepared as one with decisive aims, the intention had been to conduct it in more favourable conditions.
"However, in view of the alarming situation that had developed on the Western front, in connection with the German offensive in the Ardennes, the High Command of the Soviet forces ordered the offensive to be started not later than mid-January, without waiting for the weather to improve.
"3. When the Soviet forces reached the Narew and the Vistula, the enemy grouping was most solid in the central sector of the front, because a strike from that sector would take our troops to Germany's vital centres along the shortest route.
"In order to create the most advantageous conditions for the offensive, the Soviet High Command decided to thin out this central grouping of the enemy.
"With that end in view, it conducted a supporting operation against East Prussia and continued the offensive in Hungary in the direction of Budapest.
"Both these directions were highly sensitive for the Germans, and they quickly reacted to our offensive by moving some forces from the central sector of the front to the flanks; thus, of the 24 tank divisions on our front, which constituted the Germans' main striking force, 11 tank divisions were moved to the Budapest direction, and 6 tank divisions, to East Prussia (3 tank divisions were in Kurland), thus leaving only 4 tank divisions in the central sector of the front.
"The objective set by the High Command has been attained.
"4. The balance of forces in the direction of the main attack:
"On the front between Ostroleka and Krakow, that is, the direction of our main attack, the enemy had up to 80 divisions; we created a grouping with a view to obtaining the following superiority over the enemy:
"Infantry – more than double (up to 180 divisions).
"Artillery, tanks and aviation – overwhelming.
"In the break-through sectors, the artillery density created was 220-230 pieces (from 76 mm and greater) per kilometre of front.
"5. The offensive was started in highly unfavourable weather conditions (low clouds and fog), which absolutely ruled out air force operations and limited artillery observation to a hundred meters.
"Thanks to the good preliminary reconnaissance and powerful artillery offensive, the enemy's fire system was suppressed and his fortifications destroyed. This enabled our troops to advance 10-15 kilometres on the first day of the offensive, that is, to break through the whole tactical depth of the enemy's defences.
"6. Results of the offensive:
"(a) By February 1, that is, in 18 days of the offensive, the Soviet forces had advanced up to 500 kilometres in the direction of the main attack, averaging 25-30 kilometres a day.
"(b) The Soviet forces have reached the Oder in the sector from Küstrin (north of Frankfort) and to the south and occupied the Silesian industrial area.
"(c) The main routes linking the enemy's East Prussian grouping with the central areas of Germany have been cut.
"Thus, in addition to the Kurland grouping (26 divisions), the enemy’s grouping in East Prussia has been isolated (up to 27 divisions); a number of isolated groupings of Germans (in the area of Lodz, Thorn, Poznan, Schneidemühl etc. a total of up to 15 divisions) have been encircled and are being destroyed.
"(d) Permanent-type defence positions of the Germans in East Prussia – in the Königsberg and Letzen directions – have been broken through.
"(e) Forty-five German divisions have been routed, with the enemy suffering the following losses:
about 100,000 prisoners
about 300,000 dead
a total of up to 400,000 men
"7. The enemy's probable operations:
"(a) The Germans will defend Berlin, for which purpose they will try to hold back the advance of the Soviet forces on the Oder line, organising defence there with the help of retreating troops and reserves transferred from Germany, Western Europe and Italy.
"The enemy will try to use his Kurland grouping for the defence of Pomerania, transporting it by sea beyond the Vistula.
"(b) The Germans will cover the Vienna direction as solidly as possible, reinforcing it up with troops operating in Italy.
"8. Movement of enemy troops:"(a) The following have already made their appearance on our front:
9 divisions from the central areas of Germany
6 divisions from the West European front
1 division from Italy
"(b) On the way:
4 tank divisions
1 motorised division
"(c) Up to 30-35 divisions more will probably be moved (from the West European front, Norway and Italy, and reserves in Germany).
"Thus, an additional 35-40 divisions may appear on our front.
"9. Our wishes:
"(a) Speed up the offensive by the Allied forces on the Western front, for which the situation now is very favourable, namely:
"(1) Defeat of the Germans on the Eastern front;
"(2) Defeat of the German grouping which had attacked in the Ardennes;
"(3) Weakening of the German forces in the West in view of the transfer of their reserves to the East.
"It is desirable that an offensive should be started in the first half of February.
"(b) Prevent the enemy from transferring his forces to the East from the Western front, Norway and Italy by air strikes against his communications; in particular, paralyse the Berlin and Leipzig junctions.
"(c) Prevent the enemy from withdrawing his forces from Italy."
[The written text of Antonov's report was handed to Roosevelt and Churchill.]
Stalin asked whether there were any questions.
Roosevelt said he would like to know what the Soviet Government intended to do with the German locomotives, rolling stock and railways. He asked whether the Soviet Government intended to widen the gauge of the German railways.
Antonov replied that since the locomotives and the rolling stock abandoned by the Germans were of little use, the gauge of the German railways would have to be altered in several key directions.
Roosevelt stated that, in his opinion, it would be well for the Allied staffs to jointly discuss this question as the Allied forces were rapidly approaching each other.
Antonov said the Soviet command was altering the gauge on a minimum number of directions needed to ensure the supply of the Soviet forces.
Stalin said the bulk of the railways remained unaltered. The Soviet command had been changing the gauge of the railways none too eagerly.
Churchill declared that he had several questions to ask. He believed there were a number of questions which it would be expedient for the three staffs to discuss. For example, the question of time. It should be determined how much time the Germans would need to transfer eight divisions from Italy to the Soviet front. What should be done to prevent such a transfer? Should not a part of the Allied forces be transferred through the Ljubljana corridor to join up with the Red Army? It would also be necessary to determine the time that would take, and whether it might not be too late to do it.
He, Churchill, had indicated only one of the questions which could be discussed by the staffs. He proposed that General Marshall should make a report on the operations at the Western front whose conduct would be of assistance to the Soviet armies.
Roosevelt agreed with the Prime Minister. He said the Allies had been fighting at a great distance from each other. Germany had shrunk, and that was why closer contact be-
tween the staffs of the three countries was of special importance.
Stalin said that was right.
General Marshall declared that the consequences of the German offensive in the Ardennes had been eliminated. In the previous few weeks, General Eisenhower had regrouped his divisions. At the same time, General Eisenhower had continued to exercise pressure on the enemy in the area of the German counter-offensive. As a result of the operations he had conducted, General Eisenhower had discovered that the Germans had rather big forces in the Ardennes. That was why General Eisenhower had begun to concentrate his forces in the north.
In the southern sector of the front, i.e., to the north of Switzerland, the objective of the planned operation was to throw back the Germans into the area of Mühlhausen and Colmar. The objective of the operations being conducted to the north of Strasbourg was to liquidate the bridgehead on the left bank of the Rhine. At the time, the 25th Army group and the U.S. 9th Army, which were under the command of Montgomery, were preparing for an offensive in the northern sector. The U.S. 9th Army would attack in the north-eastern direction.
The Allied command hoped to start the first of these operations on February 8. The second operation was to start in a week or possibly somewhat earlier. The Allies expected the Germans to retreat to Düsseldorf, after which the Allied troops would move on to Berlin. As many forces were to be moved into this offensive as allowed by the supply facilities. Paratroops would be used. The crossing of the Rhine in the north was expected to be possible in early March. In the north, there were three suitable places for forcing the Rhine.
For a certain time, the operations on the Western front had developed slowly because of the lack of tonnage. Then, following the opening of Antwerp, things were livening up, and the Allies were able to bring in from 70,000 to 80,000 tons of dry cargo a day, and 12,000 tons of liquid fuel. The Germans were trying to hamper the Allied supply and continued to bombard Antwerp with flying bombs. Information received that day showed that 60 flying bombs and 6 rockets had fallen in the Antwerp area in the previous 24 hours.
Stalin said bombs and rockets rarely hit the target.
Marshall remarked that there was always the possibility of bombs hitting vessels in the port.
He stated that the Allied air force had always been active when the weather permitted. Great destruction had been inflicted by fighters and light and heavy bombers. Information received that day indicated that troop trains on their way to the Soviet-German front had been attacked from the air. Great destruction had been done on the railways north of Strasbourg. Heavy bombers had attacked mainly plants producing fuel to deprive Germany of the possibility of supplying her tanks with fuel. Fuel production in Germany had fallen by 60 per cent. The air force had also been raiding communication lines. Tank works had been heavily raided.
As for the situation in Italy and to the south of Switzerland, he, Marshall, had the following to report. To the south of Switzerland, Germany had one or two divisions, and in Italy, 27 divisions. In Italy, the Allies had a force equal to that of the Germans. In addition, the Allies had an air force in Italy which was destroying the Germans' rolling stock, railways and bridges.
The Germans, Marshall declared, would probably soon resume their submarine offensive because they had produced an improved submarine. The Germans had at the time about 30 submarines at their disposal. Despite the small number of submarines, they could present a serious threat to Allied shipping because the devices developed by the Allies were unable to detect submarines of the improved type. That was why the operations of heavy bombers were directed against the shipyards where submarines were being built. The bomber operations had not detracted from the air force strikes against Germany's industry, in particular, plants making fuel.
Churchill said he would like to hear Field-Marshal Brooke and Admiral Cunningham. The speed of the Soviet advance was at the time highly important, because Danzig was one of the places where many submarines were concentrated.
Stalin asked where else submarines were concentrated.
Churchill replied that it was at Kiel and Hamburg.
Brooke stated that, in his opinion, the Allied plans and operations on the Western front had been given a full exposition.
Churchill said that before the participants in the Con-
ference passed on to other, non-military, questions, he would like to mention one matter relating to the forcing of rivers. The Allies had a special centre for the study of forced river crossings. The officer in command of that centre was then in Yalta. Churchill said they would be grateful if the officer could contact the Soviet military for the purpose of obtaining information on the forcing of rivers._ The Russians were known to have great experience, especially in the forcing of ice-bound rivers.
Stalin said he had a number of questions to ask. He would like to know the length of the front on which the breakthrough was to be made.
Marshall replied that the breakthrough was to be made on a front between 50 and 60 miles long.
Stalin asked whether the Germans had any fortifications on the front where the breakthrough was being planned.
Marshall replied that the Germans had built heavy-type fortifications in that sector of the front.
Stalin asked whether the Allies would have the reserves to exploit the success.
Marshall replied in the affirmative.
Stalin said he had asked the question because the Soviet command was aware of the great importance of reserves. That had become especially clear during the winter campaign. He would like to ask how many tank divisions the Allies had concentrated in the sector of the planned breakthrough. During the winter breakthrough, the Soviet command had concentrated about 9,000 tanks in the central sector of the front.
Marshall replied that he did not know that, but there would be one tank division for three infantry divisions, i.e., about 10-12 tank divisions for 35 divisions.
Stalin asked how many tanks there were in an Allied division.
Marshall replied: 300 tanks.
Churchill noted that on the entire West European theatre the Allies had 10,000 tanks.
Stalin said that was a great deal. On the front of the main attack the Soviet command had concentrated between 8,000 and 9,000 planes. He asked how many planes the Allies had.
Portal replied that the Allies had nearly as many planes, including 4,000 bombers, each of which was capable of carrying a bomb-load of from 3 to 5 tons.
Stalin asked what superiority the Allies had in infantry. On the front of the main attack the Soviet command had a superiority in infantry of 100 divisions to the Germans' 80.
Churchill declared that the Allies had never had any great superiority in infantry, but the Allies had at times had very great superiority in the air.
Stalin said the Soviet command had great superiority in artillery. He asked whether the Allies were interested to learn how Soviet artillery operated. Stalin said that the Soviet people, being the Allies' comrades-in-arms, could exchange experience with them. A year before, the Soviet command had established a special breakthrough artillery force. It had produced good results. An artillery division had from 300 to 400 guns. For example, on a front of 35-40 kilometres Marshal Konev had had six artillery breakthrough divisions supplemented with corps artillery. As a result, there had been almost 230 guns per kilometre of the breakthrough. After an artillery barrage, many Germans had been killed, others had been stunned and could not come to for a long time. That had opened the gates for the Red Army. From then on the advance had not been difficult.
He, Stalin, was sorry to have taken up time in relating the above. Stalin said he had expressed the wishes in respect of how the Allied armies could help the Soviet forces. He would like to know what wishes the Allies had in respect of the Soviet forces.
Churchill stated that he would like to take the opportunity to express his profound admiration for the might the Red Army had demonstrated in its offensive.
Stalin said that was not a wish.
Churchill declared that the Allies were aware of the difficulty of their task and did not minimise it. But the Allies were confident they would cope with their task. All the Allied commanders were confident of that. Although the attack was to be made against the Germans' strongest point, the Allies were sure that it would be a success and would be of benefit to the operations of the Soviet forces. As for any wishes, the Allies wanted the offensive of the Soviet armies to continue just as successfully.
Roosevelt declared that he was in agreement with Churchill.
Stalin said the Red Army's offensive, for which Churchill had expressed his gratitude, was in fulfilment of a comrade-
ly duty. According to the decisions adopted at the Tehran Conference, the Soviet Government had been under no obligation to launch a winter offensive.
The President had asked him whether he, Stalin, could receive a representative of General Eisenhower. He, Stalin, had naturally given his consent. Churchill had sent him a message, asking him whether he, Stalin, was planning to start an offensive in January. He, Stalin, had realised that neither Churchill nor Roosevelt were asking him outright for an offensive; he had appreciated this tact on the part of the Allies, but he had seen that such an offensive had been necessary for the Allies. The Soviet command had started its offensive even before the planned date. The Soviet Government had considered that to be its duty, the duty of an ally, although it was under no formal obligation on this score. He, Stalin, would like the leaders of the Allied Powers to take into account that Soviet leaders did not merely fulfil their obligations but were also prepared to fulfil their moral duty as far as possible.
As for the wishes, he asked about them because Tedder had expressed the wish that the Soviet forces should not stop their offensive until the end of March. He, Stalin, understood this to be possibly the wish not only of Tedder, but also of other Allied military leaders. Stalin said that the Soviet forces would continue their offensive, if the weather permitted and the roads were passable.
Roosevelt stated that he was in complete agreement with the opinion of Marshal Stalin. At the conference in Tehran it had been impossible to draw up a common plan of operations. He, Roosevelt, took it that each Ally was morally bound to advance with the utmost possible speed. At the time of the Tehran Conference there had been a great distance between the Allied forces moving from the East and the West. But the time had come when it was necessary to co-ordinate more thoroughly the operations of the Allied forces.
Churchill declared that he welcomed the words of Marshal Stalin. He, Churchill, believed he could say the following on behalf of the President and himself. The reason why the Allies had not concluded at Tehran any agreement with the Soviet Union on future operations, was their confidence in the Soviet people and its military.
Roosevelt replied that the Tehran Conference had been held before his re-election. It had been still unknown whether or not the American people would be on his side... that was why it had been hard to draw up any common military plan.…
Churchill said the question raised by Tedder in his talk with Marshal Stalin could subsequently be discussed by the Allied staffs. Churchill said that the three leaders could, of course, be criticised for failing to co-ordinate the Allied offensives. If the weather hampered the operations of the Soviet forces, perhaps the Allies would then attack on their front. But that question must be decided by the staffs.
Stalin said there was lack of co-ordination. The Soviet forces had stopped their offensive in the autumn. Just then the Allies started their offensive. At the time, it was the other way round. In future, that should be avoided. Stalin asked whether it was expedient for the Allied military to discuss plans for summer operations.
Churchill said that might possibly have to be done. The Allied military could deal with the military questions while the leaders dealt with the political ones.
Stalin replied that that was right.
Cunningham said that he would like to supplement General Marshall's report. The threat of a fresh outbreak of submarine warfare on the part of the Germans was potential rather than actual. The Germans had achieved great success in improving their submarines. But that was not so important. What was important was that the Germans were already building new-type submarines. The submarines would be fitted out with the latest technical devices, and would have a great speed under water. The naval forces would, therefore, find it very hard to fight them. The German submarines were being built at Bremen, Hamburg and Danzig. If he, Cunningham, could express one wish, it was that, as a representative of the naval department, he would like to ask the Soviet forces to take Danzig as soon as possible, because 30 per cent of submarine construction was concentrated there.
Roosevelt asked whether Danzig was within the range of Soviet artillery.
Stalin replied that Danzig was not yet within the range of Soviet artillery. The Soviet command hoped soon to approach Danzig to within the range of artillery fire.
Churchill said the military could meet the next morning.
Page 64Stalin said he was in agreement with that. He proposed that the meeting be set for 12 o'clock.
Churchill declared that at the meeting the military should discuss not only the situation on the Eastern and Western fronts, but also on the Italian front, and also the question how best to use the available forces. He, Churchill, also proposed that a meeting be fixed for the next day to discuss political questions, namely, the future of Germany, if she had any.
Stalin replied that Germany would have a future.
February 5, 1945
Roosevelt stated that the sitting would be devoted to political affairs. Questions pertaining to Germany ought to be selected. The questions of a world character – such as those of Dakar and Indochina – could be postponed. One of the questions that had already come up before the Allied Governments was that of occupation zones. It was a matter not of permanent but of temporary occupation. The question was becoming more and more urgent.
Stalin said that he would like the sitting to discuss the following questions. First, the proposals to dismember Germany.1 There had been an exchange of opinion on the point at Tehran, and then between him, Stalin, and Churchill, in Moscow in October 1944. No decisions had been adopted either in Tehran or Moscow. Some opinion should be arrived at on the question at the Conference.
There was also another question relating to Germany: should Germany be allowed any central government, or should the Allies confine themselves to the establishment of an administration in Germany or, if it was decided, after all, to dismember Germany, should several governments be established there, depending on the number of parts into which Germany would be split up? These points had to be cleared up.
1 Proposals on the dismemberment of Germany were first submitted at meetings of the heads of the Three Powers by the United States and Britain at the Tehran Conference. – Ed.
The third question related to unconditional surrender. They all stood on the basis of the unconditional surrender of Germany. But he, Stalin, would like to know whether or not the Allies would leave the Hitler Government in power if it surrendered unconditionally. The one excluded the other. But if that was so, as much should be said. The Allies had the experience of the surrender of Italy, but there they had had the concrete demands which constituted the content of the unconditional surrender. Weren't the three Allies going to determine the concrete content of the unconditional surrender of Germany? That question too should be cleared up.
Finally, there was the question of reparations, Germany's compensation for losses, and the question of the amount of the indemnity.
He, Stalin, raised all those questions in addition to the questions put forward by the President.
Roosevelt declared that, as he saw it, the questions raised by Marshal Stalin referred to a permanent state of affairs. However, they flowed from the question of occupation zones in Germany. The zones might prove to be the first step in the dismemberment of Germany.
Stalin declared that if the Allies intended to dismember Germany they should say so. There had been two exchanges of opinion between the Allies on the dismemberment of Germany after her military defeat. The first time at Tehran, when the President had proposed that Germany should be divided into five parts. At Tehran the Prime Minister too had stood for a dismemberment of Germany, although he had hesitated. But that had been only an exchange of opinion.
The second time the question of Germany's dismemberment had been discussed between him, Stalin, and the Prime Minister in Moscow the previous October. Under discussion had been the British plan for the division of Germany into two states: Prussia with her provinces and Bavaria, with the Ruhr and Westphalia being placed under international control. But no decision had been taken in Moscow, nor had it been possible to take one, because the President had not been present in Moscow.
Churchill declared that he agreed in principle to the dismemberment of Germany, but the method of demarcating the frontiers of the separate parts of Germany was too compli-
cated for the question to be settled there in a matter of five or six days. It would take a very thorough study of the historical, ethnic and economic factors, and weeks of discussions of the question in a subcommittee or committee which would be set up for a detailed elaboration of the proposals and submission of recommendations in respect of the mode of action. The talks the heads of the three Governments had had on the question at Tehran, and the subsequent unofficial talks he, Churchill, had had with Marshal Stalin in Moscow, had been a most general approach to the question, without any precise plan.
He, Churchill, would be unable to give an immediate answer to the question as to how to divide Germany. He could merely hint at what he thought would be the most expedient way of doing it. But he, Churchill, would have to reserve the right to modify his opinion when he received the recommendations of commissions studying the matter. He, Churchill, had in mind the strength of Prussia, the tap-root of all evil. It was quite understandable that if Prussia were separated from Germany, her capability for starting a new war would be greatly restricted. He personally believed that the establishment of another big German state in the south, with a capital at Vienna, would provide a dividing line between Prussia and the rest of Germany. The population of Germany would be equally divided between those two states.
There were other questions which had to be examined. First of all, they agreed that Germany should lose a part of the territory most of which had already been captured by the Russian forces, and which should be given to the Poles. There were also questions relating to the Rhine valley, the frontier between France and Germany, and the question of possession of the industrial areas of the Ruhr and the Saar, which had a war potential (in the sense of a possible manufacture of weapons there). Were the areas to be handed over to countries, such as France, or were they to be left under a German administration, or was control over them to be set up by a world organisation in the form of a condominium over a long but specified period? All that required examination. He, Churchill, had to say he was unable to express any definite ideas on the question on behalf of his Government. The British Government must co-ordinate its plans with those of the Allies.
Finally, there was the question of whether Prussia was to be subjected to an internal fragmentation after she was isolated from the rest of Germany. Talks on the matter had been held at Tehran. It appeared that one question could be decided very swiftly, namely, the establishment of an apparatus to examine all the questions. Such an apparatus would have to submit reports to the Governments before the Governments took any final decisions.
He, Churchill, would like to say that the Allies were rather well prepared to accept an immediate surrender of Germany. All the details of such a surrender had been worked out and were known to the three Governments. There remained the question of reaching official agreement on the zones of occupation and on the control machinery in Germany. Assuming that Germany would surrender within a month, or six weeks, or six months, the Allies would only have to occupy Germany by zones.
Stalin said that was not clear. Some group, like Badoglio in Italy, might say it had overthrown the Government. Would the Allies be prepared to deal with such a government?
Eden said the group would be presented with the terms of surrender which had been agreed upon by the European Advisory Commission.
Churchill stated that he would like to project the possible course of events. Germany was no longer able to wage the war. He proposed to assume that Hitler or Himmler made a proposal of surrender. It was clear that the Allies would tell them that they would not negotiate with them because they were war criminals. If they were the only men in Germany, the Allies would continue the war. It was more probable that Hitler would try to hide or would be killed as a result of a coup in Germany, and another government would be set up there which would propose surrender. In that case, the Allies must immediately consult with each other on whether or not they could talk with those men in Germany. If they decided that they could, those men should be told the terms of surrender. Should the Allies decide that that group of men was unfit to negotiate with, they would continue the war and occupy the whole country. If those new men made their appearance and signed an unconditional surrender on the terms dictated to them, there would be no need to tell them of their future. Unconditional surrender
would give the Allies the opportunity to present additional demands to the Germans on the dismemberment of Germany.
Stalin declared that the demand for dismemberment was not an additional, but a highly essential one.
Churchill said it was, of course, an important demand. But he, Churchill, did not believe it must be presented to the Germans at the first stage. The Allies should come to a precise agreement on this point.
Stalin said that that was why he had raised the question.
Churchill said that although the Allies could study the question of dismemberment, he did not think it would be possible to reach a precise agreement on it just then. The matter required study. In his, Churchill's, opinion, that kind of question was more suitable for examination at a peace conference.
Roosevelt declared that it seemed to him Marshal Stalin had not received an answer to his question of whether or not they were going to dismember Germany. He, Roosevelt, believed that the question should be decided in principle, and the details could be left for the future.
Stalin remarked that that was right.
Roosevelt continued that the Prime Minister· had said that at the time it was impossible to determine the frontiers of the separate parts of Germany and that the whole question required study. That was right. But the most important thing was still to decide at the Conference the main question whether or not the Allies agreed to dismember Germany. Roosevelt believed it would be well to present the Germans with the terms of surrender and, in addition, to tell them that Germany was to be dismembered. At Tehran, Roosevelt had spoken in favour of a decentralised administration in Germany. During his stay in Germany 40 years before, decentralised administration had still been a fact: Bavaria or Hessen had had a Bavarian or Hessen Government. They had been real Governments. The word "Reich" had not yet existed. But over the previous 20 years, the decentralised administration had been gradually abolished. The whole of the administration had been concentrated at Berlin. It was utopian to talk of plans for a decentralised Germany. That was why, under the conditions, Roosevelt saw no other way out except dismemberment. How many parts were there to be? Six, seven or less? He would not venture to say anything
definite on the score. The question had to be studied. But there, in the Crimea, agreement should be reached on whether the Allies were going to tell the Germans that Germany was to be dismembered.
Churchill stated that, in his opinion, there was no need to inform the Germans of the future policy to be conducted in respect of their country. The Germans should be told they would have to await further Allied demands after they surrendered. These further demands would be made on the Germans by mutual agreement between the Allies. As for dismemberment, he, Churchill, believed that such a decision could not be adopted in a matter of a few days. The Allies were dealing with an 80-million people and it would certainly take more than 30 minutes to settle the question of their future. A commission might take a month to work out the question in detail.
Roosevelt said that the Premier introduced the time factor into the question. If the question of dismemberment were to be publicly debated, there would be hundreds of plans. That was why he, Roosevelt, proposed that within the next 24 hours the three Ministers of Foreign Affairs should draw up a plan of procedure to study the dismemberment of Germany and then a detailed plan for the dismemberment of Germany could be drawn up within 30 days.
Churchill declared that the British Government was prepared to accept the principle of Germany's dismemberment and to set up a commission to study the procedure of dismemberment.
Stalin said he had raised the question to clarify what the Allies wanted. Events would develop towards Germany's disaster. Germany was losing the war, and her defeat would be hastened as a result of an early Allied offensive. In addition to a military catastrophe, Germany might suffer an internal catastrophe, because she would have neither coal nor grain. Germany had already lost the Dabrowa coal basin, and the Ruhr would soon be under Allied gun fire. With events developing as rapidly as that, he, Stalin, would not like the Allies to be caught unawares. He had raised the question so that the Allies should be prepared for the events. He fully understood Churchill's considerations that it was hard to draw up a plan for the dismemberment of Germany at the time. That was correct. Nor did he propose that a concrete plan should be drawn up immediately. But the mat-
Page 70ter should be settled in principle and recorded in the terms of the unconditional surrender.
Churchill declared that an unconditional surrender precluded any armistice agreement. Unconditional surrender was the terms on which military operations were to be terminated. Those who signed the terms of an unconditional surrender submitted to the will of the victors.
Stalin said that terms of surrender were nonetheless signed.
Churchill replied in the affirmative and called attention to Article 12 of the terms of Germany’s unconditional surrender worked out by the European Advisory Commission.
Roosevelt noted that the article said nothing at all about Germany's dismemberment.
Stalin said that that was right.
Churchill asked whether the terms of the armistice were to be published.
Stalin replied that the terms would not be made public for the time being, they existed for the Allies and would be presented to the German Government when the time came. The Allies would decide when they were to be made public. The Allies were doing the same thing with Italy, whose terms of surrender would be made public when they deemed it necessary.
Roosevelt asked whether the Germans would be given a government or an administration by the Allies. If Germany was dismembered, each of her parts would have an administration subordinate to the corresponding Allied command.
Churchill said that he did not know that. He, Churchill, found it hard to go beyond the statement made that the British Government was prepared to accept the principle of Germany's dismemberment and the establishment of a commission to work out a plan of dismemberment.
Roosevelt asked whether Churchill was prepared to supplement Article 12 with words about the dismemberment of Germany.
Churchill replied that he was prepared to have the three Ministers of Foreign Affairs examine Article 12 for the purpose of determining the possibility of including the words "dismemberment of Germany" or some other formulation in the Article.
[A decision was taken to instruct the Ministers of Foreign Affairs to examine the question.]
Page 71Churchill said the question of a government in Germany could be discussed.
Stalin stated that he preferred to discuss the question of reparations.
Roosevelt agreed and said there were two sides to the reparations question. First, the small countries, like Denmark, Norway and Holland, would also want to receive reparations from Germany. Secondly, the question arose of making use of German manpower. He, Roosevelt, wanted to ask what quantity of German manpower the Soviet Union would like to have. As for the United States of America, it needed neither German machinery nor German manpower.
Stalin replied that the Soviet Government had a plan for material reparations. As for the use of German manpower, the Soviet Government was not yet prepared to discuss that question.
Churchill asked whether he could have some information about the Soviet reparations plan.
Stalin said he would let Maisky speak on the question.
Maisky stated that the material reparations plan was based on several key principles.
The first principle was that the reparations were to be received from Germany not in money, as had been the case after the previous world war, but in kind.
The second principle was that Germany was to make its payments in kind in two forms, namely, (a) lump withdrawals from Germany's national wealth, both on the territory of Germany proper and outside, at the end of the war (factories, machine tools, ships, rolling stock, investments in foreign enterprises, etc.), and (b) annual goods deliveries after the end of the war.
The third principle was in short that by way of reparations payments Germany was to be economically disarmed, as otherwise security in Europe could not be ensured. Concretely this meant the removal of 80 per cent of the equipment from Germany's heavy industry (steel, engineering, metalworking, electrical engineering, chemistry, etc.). Aircraft factories and plants producing synthetic fuel were to be removed 100 per cent. All specialised military enterprises (arms factories, munitions plants, etc.) which had existed before the war or had been built during the war, were equally to be removed 100 per cent. The Soviet Government believed that the 20 per cent of Germany's pre-war heavy
industry which was to remain, would be quite sufficient to cover the country's actual economic requirements.
The fourth principle was that the reparations period was set at 10 years, with removals from national wealth to be made within two years after the end of the war.
The fifth principle was that for the purpose of precise fulfilment by Germany of her reparations obligations, and also in the interests of security in Europe, strict Anglo-Soviet-American control must be established over the German economy. The forms of control were to be worked out later. But in any case, provision was to be made that the industrial, transport and other enterprises remaining in Germany which constituted the greatest danger from the standpoint of a possible revival of Germany's war potential were to be internationalised, with the U.S.S.R., the U.S.A. and Great Britain participating in their administration. Control over the German economy was to be maintained after the expiry of the period of the reparations payments, i.e., after the first 10 years following the end of the war.
The sixth principle was that in view of the unprecedented immensity of the damage caused by the German aggression, it would be impossible to make it good fully even with the strictest exaction of reparations from Germany. The Soviet Government had tried to make a rough estimate of the scale of the damage – the figures obtained were quite astronomical. That was why the Soviet Government had arrived at the conclusion that if the Allies were to be realistic, only that type of damage should be subject to indemnification which could be characterised as direct material loss (destruction of or damage to houses, plants, railways, research institutions; confiscation of cattle, grain, private property of citizens, etc.). But since Soviet preliminary estimates, under the head of direct material losses alone, had yielded a total amount of damage in excess of the amount of possible reparations by way of direct removal and annual post-war deliveries, it would apparently be necessary to establish a certain priority in the receipt of compensation by countries which had the right to it. That priority was to be based on two indicators: (a) the size of the country's contribution to the victory over the enemy, and (b) the amount of direct material losses suffered by that country. Countries having the highest indicators under both heads were to receive reparations first, and the rest, later.
The seventh principle was that the U.S.S.R. considered it fair to receive at least $10,000 million in compensation for its direct material losses, through removals and annual deliveries. That was, of course, only a very insignificant portion of the total amount of direct material losses suffered by the Soviet Union, but in the circumstances the Soviet Government was ready to be satisfied with that figure.
Finally, the eighth principle was that a special Reparations Commission, consisting of representatives of the U.S.S.R., the U.S.A. and Great Britain should be set up, with headquarters in Moscow, to work out a detailed Allied reparations plan on the basis of the principles set forth above.
Such, in brief outline, was the material reparations plan which the Soviet Government placed before the Conference for discussion and approval.
Churchill said he well remembered the end of the previous war. Although he, Churchill, had not directly participated in framing the peace terms, he had access to all the conferences. The reparations had proved to be highly disappointing. Only £1,000 million had been with great effort got out of Germany. But even that amount would not have been obtained but for U.S. and British investments in Germany. Britain had taken from Germany a few old ocean liners, and with the money Germany got from Britain, she built herself a new fleet. He, Churchill, hoped that Britain would not face similar difficulties again.
Churchill had no doubt at all that Russia's sacrifices were greater than those of any other country. He had always believed that the removal of plants from Germany would be a correct step. But he was also quite sure it would be impossible to receive from a defeated and destroyed Germany the quantity of values which would compensate for the losses sustained by Russia alone. He doubted that £250 million a year could be extracted from Germany. At the end of the previous war, the British had also dreamed of astronomical figures – but what had been the result?
Great Britain had suffered very heavily in the current war. A great part of her houses had been destroyed or damaged. Britain had sold all her investments abroad. Britain had to export goods to import foodstuffs; she had to buy abroad half of the food she needed. Fighting for the common cause, Britain had run into heavy debt, apart from
Lend-Lease. Britain's total debt was £3,000 million. No other country among the victors would find herself in such a difficult economic and financial position at the end of the war as Great Britain. If he, Churchill, saw the possibility of maintaining the British economy through the exaction of reparations from Germany, he would resolutely take that way. But he was doubtful of success.
Other countries had also suffered great destruction. Holland was flooded. Norway had suffered heavily. True, their population was not big.
Moreover, what was going to happen to Germany? Churchill saw the spectre of a starving Germany with her 80 million population. Who was going to feed her? Who was going to pay for that? Wouldn't the Allies eventually have to cover a part of the reparations from their own pocket?
Stalin remarked that all those questions would certainly come up sooner or later.
Churchill said if one wanted to ride a horse one had to feed it with oats and hay.
Stalin replied that the horse should not charge at one.
Churchill admitted his metaphor was not very happy, and said that if one put a car in place of the horse one would still have to fill it up with petrol to use it.
Stalin replied that there was no analogy there. The Germans were men and not machines.
Churchill agreed with that too. Returning to the reparations, Churchill spoke in favour of setting up a Reparations Commission which would deliberate in secret.
Roosevelt declared that he, too, well remembered the previous war, and recalled that the United States had lost a great deal of money. It had loaned Germany more than $10,000 million, but it would not repeat its old mistakes. The United States had no intention of using German manpower. The United States did not want any German machine tools. At the end of the previous war, there had been many German assets and German property in the United States. All that had been returned to the Germans.
He, Roosevelt, believed that things would be different after the current war. A special law might have to be issued under which all German property in the United States would remain in American hands. Roosevelt agreed with Churchill that some thought should be given to Germany's future. But despite the generosity of the United States, which was
helping other countries, the United States was unable to guarantee the future of Germany. The United States did not want German living standards to be higher than those in the US.S.R. The United States wanted to help the Soviet Union to obtain everything necessary from Germany. The Americans wanted to help the British to increase their exports and find new market outlets to replace Germany.
Roosevelt believed that the time was ripe to set up a Reparations Commission to study the needs of the US.S.R. and the other European countries. He agreed to have the Commission work in Moscow. Roosevelt very much hoped that everything destroyed in the Soviet Union could be made good. But he was also sure that it would be impossible to cover everything by reparations. Germany should be left with enough industry to keep the Germans from dying of starvation.
Churchill declared that he had no objections to the Reparations Commission being in Moscow.
Maisky said that he would like to reply briefly to Churchill and Roosevelt. In his remarks he intended to deal with three main points.
First, the question on which Churchill had dwelt specifically – the failure of reparations after the previous war. Indeed, that experience had proved to be extremely unsatisfactory. But why? The reason had not been that the total amount of reparations levied on Germany had been excessive. Actually, the amount had been very modest: $30,000 million spread over a period of 58 years. Was that a great deal? According to the state of her national wealth and national income, Germany could have very easily paid such a sum. The trouble had been, however, that the Allies had wanted Germany to pay reparations chiefly in money, and not in kind. Germany had had to find ways of obtaining the necessary amount of foreign exchange. That, for various reasons, had turned out to be a very difficult task. There would have been no complications at all if the Allies had been prepared to receive reparations in kind. But the Allies had not wanted that. As a result there had arisen an insoluble transfer problem, i.e., the conversion of German marks into pounds, dollars and francs, and that problem had killed the reparations after the previous war.
There was another factor which had greatly contributed to the failure of reparations after 1914-1918; it had been the
policy of the United States, Britain and France. They had invested large amounts of capital in Germany, thereby encouraging the Germans not to fulfil their reparations obligations. Eventually, Germany has repaid, in the form of reparations, only about one-fourth of the amount the British, Americans and French had loaned Germany in the first years after the 1914-1918 war.
That was the root cause of the failure of the previous reparations. To avoid the difficulties of transfer, it was proposed that all reparations should be paid in kind. It was also hoped that the United States and Britain would not again finance Germany after the end of the war. [Roosevelt and Churchill indicated by gestures and exclamations that they intended to do nothing of the sort.]In the circumstances, there was no reason to draw pessimistic conclusions for the new reparations from the unfortunate experience of the old.
Secondly, Churchill had indicated that the reparations figure claimed by the US.S.R. would be excessive for Germany. That was hardly fair. In effect, what did the figure of $10,000 million represent? It constituted only 10 per cent of the Federal budget of the United States for 1944/45. [Stettinius: "Absolutely correct".] It was also equal to one and a quarter of the U.S. Federal peacetime budget (for example, in the period between 1936 and 1938). As to Britain, the same figure of $10,000 million was equal to no more than Great Britain's war spending over a period of six months, or two and a half times her national peacetime budget (1936-1938).
In that case, was it right to say that the Soviet Union's claims were excessive? It was not. Rather, they were much too modest. But that modesty sprang from the Soviet Government's desire to have no illusions and keep both feet on the ground.
Thirdly, Roosevelt and Churchill had stressed the need to prevent a famine in Germany. The Soviet Government had no intention at all of stripping and starving Germany. On the contrary, in working out its reparations plan, the Soviet Government had always had in mind the creation of conditions in which the German people in the post-war years could exist on the basis of the average European living standard, and the Soviet reparations plan ensured such a possibility. Germany had every chance of building her post-
war economy on the basis of an expanding agriculture and light industries. There were all the conditions for it. The Soviet reparations plan provided no special restrictions in respect of the two branches of the German economy just named.
Furthermore, it should be borne in mind that post-war Germany would be entirely free from arms expenditure, because she would be completely disarmed. This would yield a great saving: after all, pre-war Germany had spent, in various forms, up to $6,000 million a year on armaments. [Churchill exclaims: "Yes, that is a very important consideration!"] That was why the Soviet Government was convinced that even if the Soviet reparations plan was implemented in full the German people would be ensured a decent life.
Both Churchill and Roosevelt could see from the above that the Soviet reparations plan was thoroughly conceived and based on quite sober and realistic calculations.
Churchill stated that in his opinion all these questions should be examined in commission.
Stalin asked where.
Churchill said a secret commission should be set up, and nothing of its deliberations should be made public.
Stalin replied that nothing would be published about the work of the commission. But the question was where Churchill wanted to set up such a commission. Was it at the Conference?
Churchill replied that there was no need for that at the time. The Conference should merely adopt a decision on the establishment of a Reparations Commission, which would subsequently examine the claims and the assets at Germany's disposal, and also establish the priority in their allocation. It would be desirable to fix the priority with an eye not only to a nation's contribution to the cause of victory, but also the suffering it had gone through. The U.S.S.R. headed the list, whatever the criterion. Any contradictions that might arise in the Commission should be settled by the Governments. As for the Russian reparations plan, it would take time to examine it. It could not be accepted at once.
Roosevelt said that the Reparations Commission should consist of representatives of the three Powers.
Churchill supported Roosevelt's proposal.
Page 78Stalin stated that the setting up of a Reparations Commission in Moscow, something all those present had accepted, was a very good thing. But that was not enough. Even the best of commissions could not do much unless it had the proper guidelines for its work. The guidelines should be laid down there, at the Conference.
He, Stalin, believed that the main principle underlying the allocation of reparations should be the following: the states which had borne the main burden of the war and organised the victory over the enemy should be the first to receive reparations. Those states were the U.S.S.R., the United States and Great Britain. Compensation must be received not only by the Russians, but also by the Americans and the British, and to the greatest possible extent. If the United States, as Roosevelt said, was not interested in obtaining machinery or manpower from Germany, other more suitable forms of reparations could be found, for example, raw materials, etc. At any rate, it should be firmly established that those who had made the greatest contribution to the enemy's defeat had a prior right to reparations. Stalin asked whether Roosevelt and Churchill agreed with that.
Roosevelt declared that he agreed.
Churchill did not object either.
Stalin then said that in estimating the assets available in Germany for the payment of reparations, it was not the obtaining situation that should be taken as a starting point but the resources Germany would have after the end of the war, when all her population returned home, and the factories started operating. Germany would then have more assets than she had at the time, and the states of which he had spoken could expect to have very considerable compensation for their damage. The three Ministers of Foreign Affairs would do well to discuss all that and then report to the Conference.
Churchill agreed that the Conference should indicate the main points of the directives for the Commission.
Stalin replied that he considered that to be correct.
Churchill said half in jest that if he seemed to be recalcitrant in discussing the question of reparations it was only because at home he had a Parliament and a Cabinet. If they refused to accept what Churchill had accepted at the Crimea Conference they might drive him out.
Stalin replied, in the same vein, that that was not so easy: victors were not driven out.
Churchill remarked that the three Ministers of Foreign Affairs could discuss the question of reparations the next day and later report to the Conference. He, Churchill, liked the principle: to each according to his needs, and from Germany according to her abilities. That principle should be made the basis of the reparations plan.
Stalin replied that he preferred another principle: to each according to his deserts.
February 6, 1945
[ ... ] Roosevelt declared that a discussion of the question of an international security organisation could be started that day. Roosevelt believed it was their task to ensure peace for at least 50 years. In view of the fact that neither he, Roosevelt, nor Marshal Stalin, nor Churchill, had been present at Dumbarton Oaks, it would be a good idea for Stettinius to report on the question.
Stettinius said that an agreement had been reached at Dumbarton Oaks to leave certain questions for further examination and future solution. Of those questions the principal one was that of the voting procedure to be applied in the Security Council. At Dumbarton Oaks, the three delegations had had a thorough discussion of that question. Since then it had been subjected to continued and intensive study on the part of each of the three Governments.
On December 5, 1944, the President had sent Marshal Stalin and Prime Minister Churchill a proposal to have the question decided by setting forth Section C of Chapter VI of the proposals, adopted at Dumbarton Oaks in the following manner:
"1. Each member of the Security Council shall have one vote.
"2. Decisions of the Security Council on procedural matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of seven members.
"3. Decisions of the Security Council on all other matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of seven members
The text which he, Stettinius, had just read out contained minor drafting amendments made in accordance with the Soviet and British remarks on the initial text proposed by the President.
The American proposal was in complete accord with the special responsibility of the Great Powers for the maintenance of universal peace. In effect, the American proposal demanded unqualified unanimity of the permanent members of the Council on all key issues relating to the maintenance of peace, including economic and military enforcement measures.
At the same time, the American proposal recognised the desirability of a direct declaration on the part of the permanent members that the pacific settlement of any dispute that might arise was a matter of general concern, a matter on which the sovereign states which were not permanent members had the right to set forth their views without any limitations whatsoever. Unless such freedom of discussion was ensured in the Council, the establishment of a world organisation, which they all wanted, might be seriously hampered or even made altogether impossible. Without the right of free and full discussion of such matters in the Council, an international security organisation, even if established, would differ greatly from what had been originally intended.
The document which the American delegation had presented to the two other delegations set forth the text of the provisions which he, Stettinius, had read out and a special list of decisions of the Council which, according to the American proposal, would demand unqualified unanimity, and a separate list of matters (in the sphere of disputes and their pacific settlement) on which a party to the dispute must abstain from voting.
From the standpoint of the Government of the United States, there were two important elements in the question of voting procedure.
The first was that for the maintenance of universal peace, which he, Stettinius, had mentioned, unanimity of the permanent members was needed.
The second was that for the people of the United States it was of exceptional importance that fair treatment for all the members of the Organisation be provided for.
The task was to reconcile those two main elements. The proposals made by the President to Marshal Stalin and Prime Minister Churchill on December 5, 1944, provided a reasonable and just solution and combined the two elements satisfactorily.
Roosevelt declared that in his opinion it would be well to have Stettinius list the types of decisions which were to be adopted in the Security Council on the unanimity principle.
Stettinius said that, according to the formula proposed by the President, the following decisions would require an affirmative vote of seven members of the Security Council, including the votes of all the permanent members:
(I) Recommendations to the General Assembly on:
- Admission of new members;
- Suspension of a member;
- Expulsion of a member;
- Election of the Secretary-General.
(II) Restoration of the rights and privileges of a suspended member.
(III) Elimination of a threat to the peace and suppression of breaches of the peace, including the following questions:
1. Is the peace endangered as a result of non-settlement of a dispute between the parties by means of their own choice or in accordance with the recommendations of the Security Council?
2. Is there a threat to the peace or breach of the peace from any other action on the part of one or another country?
3. What are the measures to be taken by the Council for the maintenance or restoration of the peace and how are these measures to be implemented?
4. Should not the implementation of enforcement measures be entrusted to a regional body?
(IV) Approval of special agreement or agreements on the provision of armed forces and facilities.
(V) Formulation of plans for a general system of arms regulation and presentation of such plans to the member states.
(VI) Decision on the question whether the nature and activity of a regional body or regional measures for the
maintenance of peace and security are compatible with the aims and purposes of the world organisation.
An affirmative vote of seven members of the Security Council, including the votes of all the permanent members, provided, however, that a member of the Council abstained from voting on any decision relating to a dispute to which he was a party, should be required for the following decisions relating to the pacific settlement of a dispute:
(I) Is the dispute or situation brought to the notice of the Council of such a nature that its continuance may endanger the peace?
(II) Should the Council call upon the sides to settle or adjust the dispute or situation by means of their own choice?
(III) Should the Council give recommendations to the sides in respect of the methods and procedures of settlement?
(IV) Should the legal aspects of the matter before the Council be referred to the International Court of Justice for an advisory opinion?
(V) In the event there is a regional body for the pacific settlement of local disputes, should the body be requested to deal with the disputes?
Roosevelt believed the question could be discussed and settled. Big and small nations had one and the same purpose, namely, the preservation of peace, and procedural issues should not hamper the attainment of that aim.
Stalin asked what was new in the proposals set forth by Stettinius as compared with what the President had communicated in his message of December 5.
Roosevelt replied that those proposals were similar, with only minor drafting amendments.
Stalin asked what drafting amendments had been made.
Stettinius set forth these drafting amendments.
Molotov declared that the Soviet delegation also attached great importance to the questions raised and would like to study Stettinius’s proposal. That was why he proposed that the discussion of the question be postponed until the next day's sitting.
Churchill remarked that he agreed with that. There should be no undue haste in the study of such an important matter. Its discussion could be postponed until the next day. He had not been quite satisfied with the initial proposals worked out at Dumbarton Oaks, because he had not been quite sure that those proposals had taken full account of
the real position of the three Great Powers. After studying the President's new proposals, Churchill's doubts had disappeared, at any rate, as far as the British Commonwealth of Nations and the British Empire were concerned. That also applied to the independent dominions of the British Crown.
Churchill recognised that the question of whether the peace would be built on sound foundations depended on the friendship and co-operation of the three Great Powers; however, the Allies would be putting themselves in a false position and would be unfair to their intentions, if they did not provide for the possibility of the small states freely expressing their claims. Otherwise it would appear that the three chief Powers claimed to rule the world. As it was what they actually wanted was to serve the world and safeguard it from the horrors that had hit most of the nations in the current war. That was why the three Great Powers should show a readiness to submit to the interest of the common cause.
He, Churchill, was naturally thinking primarily of the effect the new situation would have on the future of the British Commonwealth of Nations. He would like to give a concrete example, an example which was a difficult one for Britain – Hong Kong. If the President's proposal was adopted, and China requested the return of Hong Kong, Great Britain would have the right to express her point of view and defend it; however, Great Britain would not be able to take part in voting on the five questions set out at the end of the American document. For her part, China would have the right fully to express her view on the question of Hong Kong, and the Security Council would have to decide on the issue, without the British Government taking part in the voting.
Stalin asked whether Egypt was to be a member of the Assembly.
Churchill replied that Egypt would be a member of the Assembly but not of the Council.
Stalin declared that he would like to take another example, that of the Suez Canal, which was situated on the territory of Egypt.
Churchill asked that his example be examined first. Assuming that the British Government could not agree to the examination of one of the questions dealt with in Paragraph 3, because it considered that the question infringed
the sovereignty of the British Empire. In that case, the British Government would be assured of success, because, in accordance with Paragraph 3, every permanent member would have the right to veto the actions of the Security Council. On the other hand, it would be unfair for China not to have the possibility of expressing her view on the substance of the case.
The same applied to Egypt. In the event Egypt raised a question against the British pertaining to the Suez Canal, he, Churchill, would allow the discussion of the question without any apprehension, because British interests were ensured by Paragraph 3, which provided for the right of veto. He also believed that if Argentina made a claim against the United States, the United States would submit to the established procedure of examination, but the United States would have the right to object and veto any decision by the Security Council. It could apply the Monroe Doctrine.
Roosevelt said that in the Tehran Declaration the three Powers had announced their readiness to accept responsibility for the establishment of a peace that would receive the approval of the peoples of the world.
Churchill stated that for the reasons which he had set forth the British Government did not object to the adoption of the U.S. proposals. Churchill believed it would be undesirable to create the impression that the three Powers wanted to dominate the world, without letting the other countries express their opinion.
Stalin declared that he would first of all ask that the Soviet delegation be handed the document which Stettinius had read out, because it was hard to study the proposals it contained by ear. To him, Stalin, it seemed that the said document was a commentary on the President's proposals.
Referring to the interpretation of the American proposals made at the sitting, Stalin said it seemed to him the Dumbarton Oaks decisions had aimed to ensure various countries not only the right to voice their opinion. That right was not worth much. No one denied it. The matter was much more serious. If any nation raised a question of great importance to it, it would do so not only to have the opportunity to set out its view, but to obtain a decision on it. None of those present would dispute the right of nations to speak in the Assembly. But that was not the heart of the matter. Churchill apparently believed that if China raised
the question of Hong Kong, her only desire would be to speak out. That was not so. China would demand a decision. In much the same way, if Egypt raised the question of a return of the Suez Canal she would not be content with voicing her opinion on the matter. Egypt would demand a solution of the question. That was why the question was not just of ensuring the possibility of voicing one's opinions, but of much more important things.
Churchill expressed the apprehension that there might be an impression that the three Great Powers wanted to dominate the world. But who was contemplating such domination? Was it the United States? No, it was not thinking of that. [The President laughed and made an eloquent gesture.] Was it Britain? No, once again. [Churchill laughed and made an eloquent gesture.] Thus, two Great Powers were beyond suspicion. That left the third – the U.S.S.R. So it was the U.S.S.R. that was striving for world domination? [General laughter.] Or could it be China that was striving for world domination? [General laughter.] Itwas clear that the talk of striving for world domination was pointless. His friend Churchill could not name a single Power that wanted to dominate the world.
Churchill interposed that he himself did not, of course, believe in the striving for world domination on the part of any of the three Allies. But the position of those Allies was so powerful that others might think so, unless the appropriate preventive measures were taken.
Stalin, continuing his speech, declared that so far two Great Powers had adopted the charter of an international security organisation, which, in the opinion of Churchill, would protect them from being charged with a desire to rule the world. The third Power had not yet given its consent to the charter. However, he would study the proposals formulated by Stettinius, and would possibly see the point more clearly. He believed, however, that the Allies were faced with much more serious problems than the right of nations to express their opinion or the question of the three chief Powers striving for world domination.
Churchill said there was no reason to fear anything undesirable even in the event of the American proposals being adopted. Indeed, so long as they were all alive there was nothing to fear. They would not allow any dangerous divergences between them. They would not permit another
aggression against anyone of their countries. But 10 years or possibly less might pass, and they would be gone. There would be a new generation which had not gone through what they had, and which would possibly view many questions in a different light. What would happen then? They seemed to be setting themselves the task of ensuring peace for at least another 50 years. Or was that the impression he, Stalin, had got because of his naïveté?
The unity of the three Powers was the most important requisite for the preservation of a lasting peace. If such unity was preserved, there was no need to fear the German danger. Thought should, therefore, be given to how best to ensure a united front between the three Powers, to which France and China should be added. That was why the question of the future charter of an international security organisation acquired such importance. It was necessary to create as many obstacles as possible to any divergence between the three chief Powers in future. A charter should be framed that would make it as difficult as possible for conflicts to arise between them. That was the main task.
On the more concrete question of the voting in the Security Council, Stalin asked the conference to excuse him for not having had the time to study the Dumbarton Oaks documents in every detail. He had been very busy with some other matters and hoped to have the indulgence of the British and American delegations.
Roosevelt and Churchill indicated by gestures and exclamations that they were well aware of what Stalin had been doing.
Stalin, continuing, said that, as far as he understood, all conflicts which might be brought up for examination by the Security Council fell into two categories. The first included disputes whose settlement demanded the application of economic, political, military or other kinds of sanctions. The second category included disputes which might be settled by peaceful means, without the application of sanctions. Stalin asked whether his understanding was correct.
Roosevelt and Churchill replied that it was correct.
Stalin then declared that, as far as he had understood it, there was to be freedom of discussion in the examination of conflicts of the first category, but the unanimity of the permanent members of the Council was required in the adoption of a decision. Inthat case, all the permanent members
of the Council should take part in the voting, i.e., the Power which was a party to a dispute would not be asked to leave. As for conflicts of the second category which were to be settled by peaceful means, another procedure was proposed in that case: the Power which was a party to a dispute (including permanent members of the Council) should not take part in the voting. Stalin asked whether his understanding of the provision was correct.
Roosevelt and Churchill again confirmed that Stalin had a fully correct understanding of the provision.
Stalin, concluding, said the Soviet Union was being accused of putting too much emphasis on the question of the voting in the Security Council. The Soviet Union was being reproached for making too much ado on the point. Indeed, the Soviet Union did pay great attention to the voting procedure, because the Soviet Union was most of all interested in the decisions to be adopted by the Security Council. After all, the decisions would be adopted by a vote. Discussions could go on for a hundred years, without deciding anything. But it was the decisions that mattered for the Soviet Union. And not only for it.
He, Stalin, asked those present to return for a moment to the examples given at the sitting. If China demanded the return of Hong Kong or Egypt the return of the Suez Canal, the question would be up for a vote in the Assembly and in the Security Council. Stalin could assure his friend Churchill that China and Egypt would not be alone in that. They would have their friends in an international organisation. That had a direct bearing on the question of voting.
Churchill stated that if the said countries demanded the satisfaction of their claims, Great Britain would say "no". The authority of an international organisation could not be used against the three great Powers.
Stalin asked whether that was in fact the case.
Eden replied that countries might talk and argue but no decision could be adopted without the consent of the three chief Powers.
Stalin asked once again whether that was actually the case.
Churchill and Roosevelt replied in the affirmative.
Stettinius declared that no economic sanctions could be applied by the Security Council without the unanimity of the permanent members.
Molotov asked whether the same applied to recommendations.
Churchill replied that that applied only to those recommendations which were mentioned in the five points formulated at the end of the American document. The international security organisation did not exclude diplomatic relations between the great and the small countries. Diplomatic procedures would continue to exist. It would be wrong to exaggerate the power or to abuse it or to raise questions that could divide the three chief Powers.
Stalin said there was another danger. His colleagues surely remembered that during the Russo-Finnish war the British and the French had roused the League of Nations against the Russians, isolated the Soviet Union and expelled it from the League of Nations, by mobilising everyone against the US.S.R. A repetition of such things in future must be precluded.
Eden declared that that could not happen if the American proposals were adopted.
Churchill confirmed that in the said case that kind of danger would be ruled out.
Molotov said that was the first time the Soviet side heard of that.
Roosevelt declared that there could be no recurrence of a case similar to the one mentioned by Marshal Stalin, because the expulsion of a member required the consent of all the permanent members.
Stalin pointed out that even if the adoption of the American proposals made it impossible to expel a member, there still remained the possibility of mobilising public opinion against anyone member.
Churchill said he could allow a case when a broad campaign was started against a member, but then diplomacy would be operating at the same time. Churchill did not think that the President would want to come out against Britain or support any action against her. He was confident that Roosevelt would want to stop such attacks. Churchill was also confident that Marshal Stalin would not want to come out against Britain, without having a talk with Britain beforehand. He, Churchill, was confident that a way to settle disputes could always be found. At any rate, he could vouch for himself.
Stalin declared that he, too, could vouch for himself; [half in jest] perhaps Maisky over there would start attacking Britain?
Roosevelt noted that the unity of the Great Powers was one of their aims. He, Roosevelt, believed that the American proposals promoted the attainment of that aim. If any contradictions should unfortunately arise between the Great Powers, they would be known to all the world, despite any voting procedure. At any rate, it was impossible to eliminate the discussion of contradictions in the Assembly. The American Government believed that by allowing freedom of discussion in the Council, the Great Powers would demonstrate to the world the confidence they had in each other.
Stalin replied that that was correct and proposed that the discussion of the question be continued the next day.
Churchill asked whether they could pass on to the Polish question.
Stalin and Roosevelt agreed with Churchill's proposal.
Roosevelt stated that the United States was far away from Poland, and he, Roosevelt, would ask the other two participants in the Conference to set forth their considerations. There were five or six million persons of Polish origin in the United States. His, Roosevelt's, position, like that of the majority of the Poles resident in the United States, coincided with the position he had set forth in Tehran. He, Roosevelt, stood for the Curzon line. That, in essence, was accepted by most Poles, but the Poles, like the Chinese, were always worried about "losing face".
Stalin asked which Poles were meant, the real ones or the émigrés? The real Poles lived in Poland.
Roosevelt replied that all Poles wanted to get something to "save face". His position as President would be eased if the Soviet Government allowed the Poles the possibility of "saving face". It would be well to examine the question of concessions to the Poles on the southern sector of the Curzon line. He, Roosevelt, did not insist on his proposal, but wanted the Soviet Government to take it into consideration.
The establishment of a permanent government in Poland was the most essential part of the Polish question. Roosevelt believed that public opinion in the United States was opposed to America's recognition of the Lublin Government,
because the people of the United States had the impression that the Lublin Government represented only a small part of the Polish people. As far as he was aware, the American people would like to see in Poland a government of national unity, including representatives of all Polish parties: the Workers' or Communist Party, the Peasant Party, the Socialist Party, the National Democratic Party and the others. He, Roosevelt, was not personally acquainted with any member of the Lublin Government or any member of the Polish Government in London. He personally knew only Mikolajczyk. During his visit to Washington, Mikolajczyk gave Roosevelt the impression of being a decent man.
He, Roosevelt, believed it was important to set up a government in Poland that would represent the mass of the people in the country and enjoy their support. It might be only a provisional government. There were many methods of forming such a government and it did not matter which one was chosen. He, Roosevelt, had a proposal to establish a Presidential Council, consisting of a small number of outstanding Poles. That Presidential Council would be entrusted with the task of forming a provisional government of Poland. That was the only proposal he had brought with him from the United States three thousand miles away. Roosevelt added, he hoped, of course, that Poland would have the most friendly relations with the Soviet Union.
Stalin said Poland would have friendly relations not only with the Soviet Union but with all the Allies.
Roosevelt said he would like to hear the opinion of Marshal Stalin and Churchill concerning his proposal. Solution of the Polish question would be of great help to the Allied cause.
Churchill said he was authorised to express the British Government's positive attitude to the President's proposal. He had always spoken publicly in Parliament and elsewhere about the British Government's intention to recognise the Curzon line as it was interpreted by the Soviet Government, i.e., with Lvov remaining in the Soviet Union. He, Churchill, and Eden had been much criticised for that, both in Parliament and in the Conservative Party, but he had always believed that after the tragedy Russia had gone through in defending herself against the German aggression, and after the efforts Russia had exerted in the liberation of Poland, the Russian claims to Lvov and the Curzon line
Page 91were not based on might but on right. Churchill still continued to hold that view.
But Churchill was much more interested in the question of Polish sovereignty and the freedom and independence of Poland than the specification of her frontiers. He wanted the Poles to have a homeland, where they could live as they thought best. He had heard Marshal Stalin announce the same aim several times with the greatest firmness. Since he, Churchill, had always had trust in Marshal Stalin's statements on the sovereignty and independence of Poland, he did not think the question of frontiers was very important.
Great Britain had no material interest in Poland. She had entered the war to defend Poland from the German aggression.1 Great Britain was concerned with Poland because it was a matter of honour for her. Great Britain could never be satisfied with a solution which did not ensure Poland a position in which she could be master of her own house. But he, Churchill, made one reservation: the freedom of Poland should not mean allowing any hostile intentions or intrigues against the Soviet Union on her part. Churchill said Great Britain would not ask to have Poland free if she had any hostile intentions in respect of the Soviet Union.
Churchill hoped that the participants in the Conference would not leave without taking practical measures on the Polish question. There were now two Polish Governments in respect of which the Allies had differing opinions. He, Churchill, had not had any direct contact with the members of the Polish Government in London. Despite the fact that
1 Here Churchill obviously erred against the truth. When Hitler Germany attacked Poland on September 1, 1939, Britain, formally declaring war on Germany, did nothing to implement her guarantees given Poland earlier. Churchill himself wrote in his memoirs:"Astonishment was world-wide, when Hitler's crashing onslaught upon Poland and the declarations of war upon Germany by Britain and France were followed only by a prolonged and oppressive pause.... We contented ourselves with dropping pamphlets to rouse the Germans to a higher morality. This strange phase of the war on land and in the air astounded everyone. France and Britain remained impassive while Poland was in a few weeks destroyed or subjugated by the whole might of the German war machine. Hitler had no reason to complain of this." (W. Churchill, The Second World War. The Gathering Storm, Boston, 1948, pp. 422-423.) – Ed.
the British Government recognised the Polish Government in London, it did not deem it necessary to meet with members of that Government. But Mikolajczyk, Romer and Grabski were intelligent and honest men, and the British Government had friendly relations with them.
He, Churchill, asked whether it was possible there to set up a Polish Government like that the President had spoken about, until the time the Polish people could freely elect a government which would be recognised by the Soviet Union, Great Britain, the United States and the other United Nations recognising the Polish Government in London. Churchill believed the establishment of the body of which the President had spoken would pave the way for the elaboration by the Polish people of their constitution and the election of their administration. If that could be done, a great step would be made towards peace and welfare in Central Europe. Churchill supported the President's proposal. But, of course, Churchill added, the Red Army's communication lines had to be ensured in all circumstances.
Stalin said that as Churchill had just stated, for the British Government the question of Poland was one of honour. Stalin understood that. For his part, however, he had to say that for the Russians the question of Poland was not only one of honour but of security as well. It was a question of honour because in the past the Russians had greatly sinned against Poland. The Soviet Government was trying to atone for those sins. It was a question of security because the most important strategic problems of the Soviet state were connected with Poland.
The point was not only that Poland was a neighbouring country. That, of course, was important, but the essence of the problem lay much deeper. Throughout history, Poland had always been a corridor for an enemy attacking Russia. Suffice it to recall only the previous 30 years: in that period, the Germans twice went across Poland to attack Russia. Why had the enemies crossed Poland so easily until then? Chiefly because Poland has been weak. The Polish corridor could not be closed mechanically only by Russian forces on the outside. It could be reliably locked only from the inside, by Poland's own forces. For that Poland must be strong. That was why the Soviet Union had a stake in creating a powerful, free and independent Poland. The
question of Poland was a question of life and death for the Soviet state.
Hence the sharp turn from the policy of tsarism the Soviet Union had made in respect of Poland. The tsarist Government was known to have tried to assimilate Poland. The Soviet Government had absolutely changed that inhuman policy and had taken the road of friendship with Poland and of safeguarding her independence. That was where the reasons lay for the Russian desire to have a strong, independent and free Poland.
Then about some of the specific questions which had been dealt with during the discussion and on which there were differences.
First of all, about the Curzon Line. He, Stalin, felt bound to remark that the Curzon Line had not been invented by the Russians. It had been produced by Curzon, Clemenceau, and the Americans who had taken part in the Paris Conference of 1919. The Russians had not been present at that conference. The Curzon Line had been adopted on the basis of ethnic data, contrary to the will of the Russians. Lenin had not accepted that Line. He had not wanted to give Poland Belostok and Belostok Region, which in accordance with the Curzon Line had had to be handed over to Poland.
The Soviet Government had already deviated from Lenin's position. Stalin asked whether the Allies wanted the Soviet leaders to be less Russian than Curzon and Clemenceau. In that case they would disgrace them. What would the Ukrainians say if they accepted the Allies' proposals? They might say that Stalin and Molotov had turned out to be less reliable defenders of the Russians and the Ukrainians than Curzon and Clemenceau. In what light would Stalin appear then on his return to Moscow? No, it was better to let the war against the Germans go on a little longer, but the Soviet Union had to be in a position to compensate Poland in the west at Germany’s expense.
During Mikolajczyk's visit to Moscow he had asked Stalin which frontier for Poland in the west the Soviet Government would recognise. Mikolajczyk had been very pleased to hear that the Soviet Union recognised the line along the Neisse River as Poland's western frontier. By way of explanation it should be said that there were two Neisse rivers: one of them ran nearer east, by Breslau, and the
other farther west. Stalin believed that Poland's western frontier should run along the Western Neisse, and he asked Roosevelt and Churchill to support him in that.
Another question on which Stalin would like to say a few words was that of the establishment of a Polish Government. Churchill proposed the establishment of a Polish Government there, at the Conference. Stalin hoped that was a slip of the tongue on Churchill's part: how could a Polish Government be set up without the participation of the Poles? Many people called him, Stalin, a dictator, and did not believe he was a democrat, but he had enough democratic feeling to refrain from setting up a Polish Government without the Poles. A Polish Government could be set up only with the participation and consent of the Poles.
A suitable moment for that had been Churchill's visit to Moscow the previous autumn, when he had brought Mikolajczyk, Grabski and Romer along with him. At that time representatives of the Lublin Government had also been invited to Moscow. A meeting had been arranged between the London and the Lublin Poles. There had even been indications of some points of agreement. Churchill should recall that. Afterwards Mikolajczyk had gone to London with the aim of returning to Moscow soon to take the last steps in organising a Polish Government. Instead, however, Mikolajczyk had been dropped from the Polish Government in London for insisting on an agreement with the Lublin Government. The Polish Government in London headed by Arcyszewski and led by Razkewicz, was opposed to any agreement with the Lublin Government. What was more it took a hostile attitude to such an agreement. The London Poles called the Lublin Government an assemblage of criminals and bandits. Naturally, the former Lublin Government and later the Warsaw Government paid them in kind, and called the London Poles traitors and turncoats. How were they to be united in the circumstances? He, Stalin, did not know.
The leading members of the Warsaw Government – Bierut, Osobka-Morawski and Rola-Zymierski – did not even want to hear of any unity with the Polish Government in London. Stalin had asked the Warsaw Poles what concessions they could make. He had got the following answer: the Warsaw Poles could stand in their midst such persons from among the London Poles as Grabski and Zeligowski,
Page 95but they would not hear of Mikolajczyk being Prime Minister. Stalin was prepared to make every effort to unite the Poles, but only if it had any chance of success. What was to be done? Perhaps the Warsaw Poles should be invited to the Conference? Or perhaps they should be invited to Moscow to talk things over?
In conclusion, Stalin would like to deal with yet another question – a very important one – on which he would be speaking as a military man. What would he, as a military man, want of the Government of a country liberated by the Red Army? He wanted only one thing: that the Government ensured law and order in the Red Army's rear, and that it prevented civil war breaking out behind its front lines. After all, the military did not care much about the kind of government; what was important was that they should not be shot at from behind. There was the Warsaw Government in Poland. In Poland, there were also agents of the London Government who were connected with underground circles styling themselves "forces of internal resistance". As a military man Stalin compared the activity of the two groups and inevitably arrived at the following conclusion: the Warsaw Government was doing a fair job of ensuring law and order in the Red Army's rear, whereas there was nothing but harm from the "forces of internal resistance". Those "forces" had already managed to kill 212 Red Army men. They were attacking Red Army depots to seize arms. They violated orders on the registration of radio transmitters on the territory liberated by the Red Army. The "forces of internal resistance" were violating all the laws of war. They complained that the Red Army was arresting them. Stalin stated flatly that if those "forces" continued their attacks on Soviet soldiers, they would be shot.
In the final analysis, from the purely military standpoint, the Warsaw Government turned out to be useful and the London Government and its agents in Poland – harmful. Of course, military men would always support a government which ensured law and order in their rear without which the Red Army could not continue its successes. Law and order in the rear was one of the conditions of Soviet successes. That was understood not only by the military but by the non-military as well. That was how matters stood.
Roosevelt proposed that the discussion of the Polish question be postponed until the next day.
Churchill said that the Soviet Government and the British Government had different sources of information. The British Government did not believe that the Lublin Government represented even a third of the Polish people. That was the opinion of the British Government. Of course, there might be a mistake in that. Clearly, one could not believe every story told by people returning from Poland. The British Government wanted an agreement because it was afraid that clashes between the Polish underground army and the Lublin Government might lead to bloodshed and numerous arrests. The British Government recognised that attacks on the Red Army in the rear were inadmissible. But the British Government did not believe the Lublin Government had any ground to consider itself as resting on a broad basis, insofar, at least, as could be judged from the information at the British Government's disposal, which, of course, might not be quite faultless.
Roosevelt pointed out that the Polish question had been giving the world a headache over a period of five centuries.
Churchill stated that an effort should be made to stop the Polish question from giving mankind a headache.
Stalin replied that that must certainly be done.
February 7, 1945
Roosevelt said that Marshal Stalin's statement on the Polish question had been heard the day before. He, Roosevelt, was most interested in the question of a Polish Government. He was not so much concerned with this or that Polish frontier. He was not interested in the legitimacy or permanency of a Polish Government, for it was known that Poland had not had any Government at all over a period of several years. He believed, however, that the United States, the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom could help the Poles to set up a Provisional Government until they had the opportunity of staging a free election m the country. There was need to do something new in this sphere; something that would look like a breath of fresh air in this dismal question […]
Page 97Stalin said that about an hour and a half before he had received a message from Roosevelt setting forth the following propositions: summon two men from the Lublin Government in Poland and two representatives of the social forces of the other camp (out of a list of five named in the President's letter) and in the presence of these four Poles settle the question of a new Polish Government. In the event of the success of such a step, the new Government should stage free elections in Poland.
Besides, Roosevelt's message expressed the wish to include representatives of certain other circles in the Polish Government. The message named Mikolajczyk and Grabski. He would like to know where the persons who were named in Roosevelt's message were to be found and who, according to his information, were in Poland. If these men were found it could be ascertained how soon they would arrive. If Wincenty Witos or Sapieha were to come, their arrival would facilitate matters. But he had no knowledge of their addresses and feared the participants in the Conference would be unable to await the arrival of the Poles in the Crimea. The Soviet delegation had worked out a project meeting Roosevelt's proposals. The project had not yet been printed. That is why he proposed that in the meanwhile they should deal with some other matter, say, the question of Dumbarton Oaks.
Roosevelt and Churchill agreed.
[The Soviet delegation then expressed its satisfaction with Stettinius's report and Churchill's explanations on the question of setting up an international security organisation. The Soviet delegation expressed the view that the unity of the three Powers in ensuring post-war security could be attained and that the proposals worked out at Dumbarton Oaks, and the additional proposals made by Roosevelt, could serve as a basis for future co-operation between big and small Powers in matters of international security.
Considering these proposals acceptable, the Soviet delegation then returned to a question which had been raised at Dumbarton Oaks but had not been resolved there, namely, the question of the participation of Soviet Republics as foundation members of the international security organisation. The Soviet delegation raised the question not in the form in which it had been raised at Dumbarton Oaks, but proposed that three, or at least two, of the Soviet Republics
should be among the sponsors of the international organisation (the reference was to the Ukraine, Byelorussia and Lithuania). The Soviet delegation believed that these three Soviet Republics or two, at any rate, ought to be recognised as foundation members.]
Roosevelt declared that he was happy to hear of the Soviet Government's acceptance of his proposals. Consequently, great progress had been reached.
The next question to be solved pertained to which of the countries from among the participants in the war against Germany were to be invited to attend the conference instituting the international organisation. Everyone in the United States wanted the conference to be held as soon as possible. Its convocation at the end of March was said to be desirable. It was physically possible for the representatives of the United Nations to meet within a month. He, Roosevelt, personally believed that the sooner the decision to convoke the conference was adopted, the sooner there could be a start in the examination of the questions raised by the Soviet side, which were of great interest. After the establishment of the organisation the question of its initial members could be tackled.
There was now one important practical point: was an invitation to attend the conference to be issued, alongside the countries fighting against Germany, also to the "associated countries", such as Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Chile, Egypt, Iceland, which had broken off relations with Germany but had not declared war on her?
The question of the Ukraine, Byelorussia and Lithuania was a highly interesting one. The participants might take different views of it, for their countries had different state structures and traditions. The British Empire, for instance, consisted of dominions: Canada, Australia, etc. The U.S.S.R. had many Republics. The United States, on the contrary, was a homogeneous country, without any colonies. It had one language. The constitution of the United States provided for only one minister of foreign affairs. That was why the question raised by the Soviet side required study. It was closely bound up with this other question: were the big Powers to have more than one vote in the international organisation? If one country were to be given more than one vote that would be a violation of the rule that each member of the organisation was to have one vote only.
Roosevelt proposed that the Foreign Ministers should be entrusted with the study of the question of the organisation's initial members and also of the time and place of the conference.
Churchill declared that he wanted to express his deep gratitude to the Soviet Government for the great stride it had taken to meet the common views worked out at Dumbarton Oaks. Churchill was sure that the agreement of the three Great Powers on this crucial question would make all thinking men happy.
The question of the number of members of the Assembly had been raised by the Russian Ally in a new form. Everyone would feel that in that respect a great stride had been made towards agreement. Churchill agreed that the United States and the British Empire were in different positions. There were self-governing dominions in the British Empire which had, for a quarter of a century, played a notable part in the international security organisation, which had collapsed on the eve of the current war. All the dominions had worked for the cause of peace and democratic progress. All the dominions had, without hesitation, entered the war against Germany, although they had been aware of Britain's weakness. Britain had had no means of forcing the dominions to follow her or right to urge them to do so, but all the dominions had entered the war of their own accord.
He, Churchill, had heard the Soviet Government's proposal with a feeling of profound sympathy. His heart was touched and turned to great Russia, which was bleeding but smiting the tyrant on her path. Churchill felt that such a great nation as Russia, with her 180-million population, might have reasons to look askance at the British Commonwealth of Nations if she had only one vote, despite the fact that the population of Russia greatly exceeded the white population of the British Empire.
Churchill would be very happy to have the President give the Soviet delegation an answer that could not be considered negative. Churchill himself was unable to exceed his powers. He would like to have time to exchange opinion on the Soviet proposal with the Foreign Minister and the war cabinet in London. Churchill, therefore, begged to be excused for being unable to give an answer to the Soviet delegation's proposal on behalf of the British Government right away.
Roosevelt repeated his proposal to have the Foreign Ministers discuss the question of the Soviet Republics and also of the time and place of the conference, and the countries to be invited to attend. The decision at Dumbarton Oaks had been to convoke the conference as soon as possible. An early convocation of the conference was also important for Roosevelt from the standpoint of domestic politics.
Churchill declared that he would be glad to have the three Foreign Ministers examine the three points proposed by the President. As for the conference, Churchill doubted that it could be called in March. In March, fighting on all the fronts would be at its height. More forces than ever before would be taking part in the battles. The domestic problems in the various countries were highly complicated. Britain, in particular, suffered from a shortage of housing and had to maintain supplies for the fronts. Besides, Britain had a Parliament which was very active and demanded a great deal of time and attention of the ministers, notably the Foreign Minister. A quarter of February was over. Churchill, therefore, asked himself this question: would the state of Europe and the world allow the convocation of a conference in March? And if the conference were called in March would the delegations of the various countries really be headed by their leaders? Wasn't it better to postpone the convocation of the Assembly for some time?
Roosevelt explained that it was not a matter of convoking the Assembly but of a conference to institute the international security organisation. The first Assembly would probably be called within three to six months.
Churchill declared that some of the countries to be represented at the conference would still be under the German yoke at the time of its convocation. There was no saying to what extent their delegations would really be representative of their peoples. Other countries at the time would be starving and suffering from the aftermath of war. In that connection, Churchill named Holland and France. Alongside those unfortunate countries at the conference there would be nations which had in no way suffered from the war and had not taken part in it. Churchill believed that in the circumstances the conference could easily become chaotic. Some peoples would be suffering the tortures of agony, while others would be calmly discussing the problems
of the future. For all those reasons, Churchill anticipated difficulties in the convocation of the conference at any rate insofar as Great Britain was concerned.
Roosevelt said that it had been decided at Dumbarton Oak to set up the international organisation as soon as possible. Roosevelt, like the Prime Minister had domestic political difficulties. However, he would find it easier to secure a two-thirds majority in the Senate if the Plan for establishing the international security organisation went through during the war.
Churchill declared that Great Britain's constitution had an effect on her attitude. A Parliamentary election was likely to be held In Britain soon, and if the Government remained in power it would have to lead the new Parliament. That had to be taken .into account. Of course, Great Britain would do everything she could to satisfy Roosevelt's desire. However, Churchill still considered it necessary to make a frank statement about the practical difficulties which, he anticipated, would arise in the realisation of the President's intention. Personally, Churchill would regret deferring the settlement of the question of the organisation's initial members until the convocation of the United Nations conference.
Roosevelt said that he wanted to reiterate his earlier proposal, namely, that the Foreign Ministers should look into the question of the membership, time and place of the conference and then report to the heads of the three Governments on their results.
Stalin expressed agreement with that.
Churchill did not object to the three Foreign Ministers' discussing the question referred to, but emphasised that the question was not at all a technical one. Churchill was not sure that such an examination would be a success but in view of the President's request was prepared to accept his proposal.
Stalin declared that the three Foreign Ministers would meet and then report to the Heads of Government on the results of their work [ ... ].
The Soviet delegation then tabled the following proposals on the Polish question:
"1. To accept that Poland's border in the East should run along the Curzon Line with deviations at some points of 5 to 6 kilometres in favour of Poland.
"2. To accept that Poland's western border should run from the town of Stettin (for the Poles) southward along the Oder River, and then on along the Neisse River (Western).
"3. To recognise as desirable to enlarge the Provisional Polish Government through the inclusion of some democratic leaders from among the émigré Polish circles.
"4. To consider desirable that the Allied Governments should recognise the enlarged Provisional Polish Government.
"5. To recognise as desirable that the Provisional Polish Government, enlarged in the manner specified in Paragraph 3, should, within the shortest possible period, call on the population of Poland to take part in a general election to set up permanent organs of state administration in Poland.
"6. To authorise V. M. Molotov, Mr. Harriman and Mr. Kerr to discuss the question of enlarging the Provisional Polish Government together with representatives of the Provisional Polish Government and to submit their proposals for the consideration of the three Governments."
Roosevelt declared that the Soviet proposals constituted a certain progress. He wanted to have the opportunity of studying them with Stettinius. All he could say at the moment was that he did not like the expression "émigré Polish circles" used in the Soviet proposals. As Roosevelt had said the day before he was not acquainted with any of the exiles, with the exception of Mikolajczyk. Furthermore, he believed that it was not at all necessary to invite specifically persons from abroad to take part in the Polish Government. Suitable men could be found inside Poland herself.
Stalin noted that was, of course, true.
Churchill said he shared Roosevelt's doubts on the word "émigrés". The fact was that the word had first been used during the French Revolution to designate persons expelled from France by the French people. The Poles who were abroad had not been expelled by the Polish people but by Hitler. Churchill proposed that the word "émigrés" should be substituted by the words "Poles abroad".
Stalin agreed to Churchill's proposal.
Churchill, continuing, said that the second paragraph of the proposals spoke of the Neisse River. On the question of the displacement of Poland's border to the west, the British Government wanted to make this reservation: Poland must have the right to take a territory which she wanted and
Page 103which she was able to administer. It would hardly be the proper thing to have the Polish goose so stuffed with German viands that it died of indigestion. In addition, there were circles in Britain who were apprehensive of the idea of expelling a great number of Germans. Churchill himself was not at all afraid of such a prospect. The results of the resettlement of Greeks and Turks after the previous world war had been quite satisfactory.
Stalin said there was almost no German population in the parts of Germany occupied by the Red Army.
Churchill remarked that that naturally made things easier. Moreover, 6 or 7 million Germans had already been killed, and at least 1 or 1.5 million more would probably be killed before the end of the war.
Stalin replied that Churchill's figures were on the whole correct.
Churchill declared that he was not at all proposing to stop destroying the Germans.
Churchill proposed that the words "and from Poland herself" should be inserted in Paragraph 3 of the Soviet draft.
Stalin replied that that was acceptable.
Churchill said that the Soviet proposals should be studied and then discussed at the following sitting. He considered the proposals a step forward.
February 8, 1945
Roosevelt declared that he believed the Foreign Ministers had done a good job of what they had been entrusted to do, and invited Eden to report on their results.
Eden said that the Foreign Ministers had examined the question of the date of the conference, the membership of the international organisation, the granting of the rights of foundation members to two or three Soviet Republics, and also the question of the countries to be invited to attend the inaugural conference. It had been decided to recommend the calling of the conference in the United States on April 25, 1945. A tentative decision had been adopted to invite to the conference members of the United Nations, that is, the
countries signing the declaration of the United Nations by a specified day of February 1945. The conference was to draw up a list of the initial members of the international organisation. The delegates of Great Britain and the United States would support the U.S.S.R. in having two Soviet Republics among the initial members of the organisation. The examination of all the details of the invitation had been entrusted to a special sub-committee.
Stalin declared that he had a list of states which had declared war on Germany. Did that mean that all of them were to be included among the members of the Assembly? Ten of these countries had no diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.
Roosevelt replied that there were several countries which were eager to establish relations with the Soviet Union but had not yet done so. There were others which were not establishing relations with the U.S.S.R., because of the strong influence there of the Catholic Church. But it should be borne in mind that states which had not established relations with the Soviet Union had attended the conferences at Bretton Woods and Atlantic City with it.
Stalin said that it would be hard to build security with states which had no relations with the Soviet Union.
Roosevelt declared that the best way of making these countries establish relations with the U.S.S.R. was to invite them to attend the conference.
Roosevelt then referred to a question which, he said, had a history of its own. Three years previously, Sumner Welles, the then acting Secretary of State, had advised some South American Republics not to declare war on Germany, but merely to break off relations with her. The Republics had followed the American advice. They had subsequently helped the United States a great deal (for instance, by supplying raw materials). They had a good reputation. A month earlier, Roosevelt had sent a letter to six presidents of South American Republics saying that if they wanted to be invited to the conference they had to declare war on Germany. Ecuador had already done so, but had not yet had time to sign the U.N. Declaration. Paraguay was to declare war on Germany in 10 days, and Peru and Venezuela were to follow suit shortly. It would be embarrassing for the American Government to fail to invite these countries to the conference after they had taken the American Government's
advice, although, to be quite honest, the advice had been a mistake.
Stalin asked how things stood with Argentina.
Roosevelt replied that Argentina was not on the list submitted by the U.S. delegation.
Stalin said that Argentina had, after all, also broken off relations with Germany.
Roosevelt declared that Argentina was not recognised as one of the United Nations.
Stalin replied that he wanted to call attention to the fact that if invitations to attend the conference were issued not only to countries which had declared war but also to those which had "associated themselves", the countries which had actually fought against Germany would resent sitting next to those who had wavered and cheated during the war.
Churchill said he believed the countries of that category should declare war on Germany before they got an invitation to attend the conference. He agreed that some of these countries had played a rather sad part, biding their time to see who would win. However, it should not be forgotten that if another group of Powers were to declare war on her the impression on Germany would be unnerving. The other enemy countries would find the whole world fighting against them, and that could have a strong impact on them.
Roosevelt declared that he wanted to add Iceland to the list of those to be invited.
Churchill remarked that His Majesty's Government felt a special responsibility in respect of Egypt, because Egypt had twice expressed the desire to declare war on Germany and Italy. However, the British Government had advised Egypt not to do that, as Egypt's continued neutrality had helped to prevent aerial bombardments of Cairo. Moreover, the British found Egypt's neutrality advantageous from various other angles. When the enemy had been within 30 miles of Alexandria, the Egyptian Army had helped the Allies by guarding the bridges and communication lines. Egypt had been of greater use as a neutral than if she had declared war on Germany and Italy. Of course, if Egypt wanted to declare war at that time the British Government would not object. Iceland had also played a useful role in the period before the United States had entered the war. Iceland had allowed American troops into the country, thereby violating her neutrality. Iceland had ensured Allied
communication lines. Churchill thought both those countries had grounds to participate in the conference if they were to declare war. The Allies ought to give them that opportunity. Churchill wanted to know whether there was the intention to admit to the conference all Powers declaring war by March 1.
Stalin gave a positive reply to Churchill's question.
Churchill said that Eire would not be among the invited either because she had a German and Japanese missions. Upon the other hand, he, Churchill, had to speak in favour of inviting Turkey, although the proposal might not meet with universal approval. Turkey had concluded an alliance with Britain before the outbreak of war, at a very dangerous time. When the war started, the Turks believed that their army was not adequately armed for a modern type of war. Nevertheless, Turkey's position was friendly and useful in many respects. The Turks had even offered aid to the British, although the British did not take up their offer. Churchill was asking himself: ought not the Turks to be given a chance to repent on their deathbed?
Stalin replied that Turkey ought to be invited if she declared war on Germany before the end of February.
Roosevelt and Churchill voiced their agreement with that. Roosevelt said that Denmark had been occupied by the Germans in 24 hours, the King had been taken prisoner, and Parliament had been dissolved. Denmark was at the moment under German control. Only one man claiming to represent Denmark had not recognised the new Danish Government. He was the Danish Envoy in Washington. He had been unable to declare war on Germany but he had repudiated the acts of the German-sponsored government. What was to be done with Denmark? There was no doubt that had the Danes been free, they would have sided with the Allies.
Churchill asked whether the Danes had recognised the independence of Iceland.
Stalin replied in the negative.
Churchill did not believe there would be any difficulties between Iceland and Denmark. He agreed with Marshal Stalin and the President that all those who declared war by the end of February should be allowed to attend the conference. Denmark would take part in the security organisation when she got the opportunity to speak on her own behalf.
Roosevelt proposed the approval of the report of the Foreign Ministers in toto, with an amendment in the sense that United Nations declaring war on the common enemy by March 1 were to be invited to the conference. Roosevelt said that Turkey could be added to the list provided she declared war on the common enemy before the first of March.
Stalin asked about the opinion of the Conference concerning the signing by Byelorussia and the Ukraine of the U.N. Declaration by March l.
Roosevelt declared that the Conference had already adopted the point of the Foreign Ministers' decision which said that at the U.N. Conference the three Powers would recommend inclusion of the Soviet Republics among the sponsors.
Churchill remarked that it appeared to him to be not entirely logical to invite to the conference all the small countries which had done next to nothing for victory and had declared war only at that last moment, while postponing the invitation of the two Soviet Republics. The sacrifices made by Byelorussia and the Ukraine were well known. He, Churchill, believed that if those two Republics signed the U.N. Declaration they should be invited.
Stalin said that it could happen that when the conference met and heard the recommendation to invite the Soviet Republics someone might get up and say that they had not signed the U.N. Declaration. That is why it would be better for the Soviet Republics to sign the Declaration then. Otherwise how were they to be recommended? He did not want to inconvenience the President but would still ask him to explain what the matter was.
Roosevelt replied that that was a technical matter but an important one none the less. It was a question of agreeing to give the Soviet Union three votes.
Stalin asked if the invitation of the Ukraine and Byelorussia would not be hampered by the fact that they had not signed the U.N. Declaration by March l.
Roosevelt answered in the negative.
Stalin declared that in that case he withdrew his proposal. He would only like to insert the names of the Republics – the Ukraine and Byelorussia – in the text of the decisions of the Foreign Ministers.
Roosevelt and Churchill indicated their consent.
The Dumbarton Oaks question was considered settled, and Roosevelt went on to the Polish question.
Churchill said that with their permission he wanted to say beforehand that he had studied the results of yesterday s conference of the Foreign Ministers and approved of them.
Roosevelt declared that on the question of Polish borders the U.S. delegation had no objections to the first paragraph of the Soviet proposals. The U.S. delegation also agreed that Poland should be given compensation at Germany’s expense, namely, East Prussia south of Königsberg and Upper Silesia up to the Oder. However, Roosevelt thought that there was little justification for displacing the Polish border to the Western Neisse.
As for the question of a Polish Government, Roosevelt would like to propose that the Soviet Foreign Minister and the Ambassadors of the United States and Britain to the U.S.S.R. should be authorised to negotiate in Moscow with Bierut, Osobka-Morawski, Sapieha, Witos, Mikolajczyk and Grabski on the formation of a new Government on the following basis: a Presidential Council should first be set up to consist of three persons, possibly Bierut, Grabski and Sapieha. The Presidential Council would be representative of the power of the President in Poland. That Presidential Council would deal with the formation of a Government consisting of men in the Warsaw Government, democratic elements in Poland and abroad. The Provisional Government thus formed would undertake to stage an election to the Constituent Assembly, which would then elect a permanent Government of Poland. When the Provisional Polish Government of national unity was set up the three Governments would recognise it.
Stalin asked whether in that case the London Government was to be disbanded.
Churchill and Roosevelt replied in the affirmative.
Churchill said that when the Provisional Polish Government of national unity was set up, the British Government would withdraw recognition from the Polish Government in London and would accredit its ambassador to the new Government.
Stalin asked whether in that case the national property of Poland which was then at the disposal of the Polish Government in London would remain in Arcyszewski's hands or would be handed over to the new Polish Government.
Roosevelt replied that Poland’s property abroad would automatically pass to the new Polish Government.
Churchill remarked that he was not aware of the legal aspect of the matter, but he thought the President was right.
Churchill then declared that the British delegation had drawn up an alternative document on the Polish question which had been handed to the Russian friends. But since the discussion had been started on the President's proposal, Churchill was prepared to continue it in that plane.
Churchill said that he had same amendments to Roosevelt’s proposals. He believed that the Conference had reached its crucial point. He was referring to the question whose solution was being awaited by the whole world. If they diverged, continuing to recognise different Polish governments, everyone would take that as a sign of basic contradictions between Great Britain and the United States, on the one hand, and the Soviet Union, on the other. That would have rather deplorable consequences throughout the world, and would lay the stamp of bankruptcy on the Conference. At the same time, it had to be stated that they took differing views of the basic facts or, at any rate, of some of the basic facts. According to the information at the disposal of the British Government, the Lublin, and then the Warsaw, Government was not the kind that could be recognised by the bulk of the Polish people. If they were to renounce the Polish Government in London and back the Lublin Government there was every indication that that would arouse the protest of the world, and of all Poles abroad, without exception.
They had a Polish Army consisting of Poles outside Poland. It had fought gallantly. Churchill did not believe that that Polish Army would be reconciled with the Lublin Government. That Polish Army would regard the British Government’s recognition of the Lublin Government and refusal of continued recognition of the Polish Government in London as a betrayal.
The Soviet Government was very well aware that he, Churchill, was not in agreement with the views of the Polish Government in London and considered its actions unwise. However, formal recognition of the new Polish Government set up a year earlier would generate a great deal of criticism of the British Government’s actions. People would assert that the British Government had earlier given
in to the Soviet Union on the question of Poland’s eastern border and had again capitulated to it on the question of the character of the Polish Government. As a result, the British Government would be subjected to accusations in Parliament. The debate that would be started in that connection would be highly regrettable and would have a negative effect an Allied unity.
In Churchill's opinion, the Soviet proposals did not go far enough. Before His Majesty's Government could abandon its position, namely, recognition of the Polish Government in London, and recognise the new Polish Government, it had to be convinced that the new Polish Government was sufficiently representative of the Polish people. Of course, the British Government’s difficulties would all disappear once a free election was held in Poland on the basis of universal suffrage. The British Government would welcome any Polish Government that emerged as a result of the election, and would turn its back on the London Government. However, the British Government was highly apprehensive of developments in the interim, before an election was possible.
Roosevelt declared that as a visitor from another hemisphere he stated the existence of a common view shared by the conferees: a general election ought to be held in Poland as soon as possible. What Roosevelt was concerned about, however, was how Poland would be run in the interim, before the staging of a free election.
Stalin said that Churchill complained about the absence of information on Poland and the impossibility of receiving any from there.
Churchill replied that he had some information.
Stalin stated that although Churchill did have some information it did not coincide with that of the Soviet Government.
Churchill replied in the affirmative.
Stalin declared that, in his view, Great Britain and the United States could have informants in Poland. Referring to the leaders of the Warsaw Government, he said that the popularity of Bierut, Osobka-Morawski and Rola-Zymierski among the Polish people was truly tremendous. What was the basis of their popularity? It was above all that they had not left their country during the occupation. They had remained in German-occupied Warsaw, they had worked in the underground and had emerged from the underground.
This commanded respect among the Polish people, who naturally sympathised with men who had not abandoned them in their hour of need. The Polish people did not like Arcyszewski's men, because they did not see them in their midst in the arduous years of the occupation. The people's mentality had to be taken into account.
The second important fact making for the popularity of the Warsaw Government leaders sprang from the Red Army's victories. The Soviet forces were advancing and liberating Poland. This was creating a great revolution in the Polish people's mind. The Poles were known not to like the Russians, because the Russians had thrice taken part in the division of Poland. However, the Red Army's offensive and its liberation of the Polish people from Hitler occupation had reversed the Polish mood entirely. Their hostility for the Russians had disappeared and had been replaced by a feeling of quite another order: the Poles were happy to see the Russians drive the Germans before them and liberate the Polish population, and this kindled a warm feeling among them for the Russians.
The Poles believed they were celebrating a grand national festival in their history. And the Poles were surprised to see the men from the Polish Government in London refuse to take part in this celebration. The Poles were asking themselves why they saw the members of the Provisional Polish Government at the festivities, but not any of the London Poles? That naturally tended to detract from the prestige of the Polish Government in London.
Those were the two factors which lay at the source of the great popularity enjoyed by the members of the Provisional Polish Government. Could they ignore these facts? Of course, they could not, if they wanted to reckon with the people's will. Such were the considerations he had wanted to express in connection with the question of the prestige of the men from the Warsaw Government.
Concerning Churchill's apprehensions that the conferees could leave without reaching any agreement on the Polish question. What was to be done in that case? They had different information and different conclusions. Perhaps they should summon Poles from the different camps and hear them? Would that increase their information? Churchill was dissatisfied with the fact that the Provisional Polish Government had not been elected. Of course, it was better to
have an elected government, but that had been prevented until then by the war. He believed the time was not far off when the election could be held in Poland.
But then, the de Gaulle Government in France had not been elected either, and consisted of diverse elements. Nevertheless, they were willingly dealing with de Gaulle and had concluded agreements with him. Why couldn't the same thing be done with the Provisional Polish Government after it is enlarged? Why was more to be demanded of Poland than of France? He was sure that if the Polish question were approached without bias, it could be solved successfully. The situation was not as tragic as Churchill had depicted it. A way out could be found if they concentrated on the main thing and did not attach too much importance to secondary things. It was easier to reconstruct the existing Provisional Polish Government than to set up an entirely new one. As for the question of the Presidential Council, the matter should be discussed with the Poles themselves.
Roosevelt asked when it would be possible to stage free elections in Poland.
Stalin replied that the elections could be held within a month, unless there was some disaster at the front, unless the Germans beat the Allies, but he hoped that the Germans would not beat the Allies.
Churchill declared that a free election would, of course, set minds at rest in Britain. The British Government would support the new Government and all the other questions would disappear. Of course, they could not ask for anything that would hamper the operations of the Soviet forces. Those operations had priority. But if it proved possible to stage the election within two months, a new situation would be created, and no one could question that.
Roosevelt recommended that the question under discussion should be referred to the Foreign Ministers.
Churchill agreed to that and added that he wanted to raise one small question. It would be highly useful to have an agreement on regular meetings between the three Foreign Ministers for consultations every three or four months, on a rota basis in each of the capitals.
Stalin said that that would be right.
Roosevelt declared that that was a good proposal. However, Stettinius was also busy with South American affairs. That was why Roosevelt believed that the Foreign Ministers'
meetings could be held as the need arose, without fixing specified dates.
Churchill proposed that the first meeting should be held in London.
Stalin signified agreement [ ... ].
February 9, 1945
Roosevelt proposed that Stettinius should report on the conference of the three Foreign Ministers.
Stettinius declared that on behalf of the Foreign Ministers he wished to make the following brief report on the results of their work. The Foreign Ministers had had a detailed discussion of the Polish question on the basis of the memorandum of the American delegation. The memorandum, in conformity with the proposal of the Soviet delegation, left out the question of the Presidential Council. As for the formula on the creation of a Polish Government, it had been decided to continue discussion of the question and to report that the three Foreign Ministers had not yet reached an agreement. The Ministers' conference had also discussed the question of reparations.
Churchill said that perhaps the Polish question should be discussed first.
[Setting forth its view of the memorandum of the U.S. delegation on the question of the Polish Government, the Soviet delegation declared that, being desirous without any further delay to work out a common stand, it was adopting the American proposal as a basis, but was putting forward some amendments to it. The Soviet delegation proposed the following wording for the first clause of the American formula for the creation of a Polish Government: "The present Provisional Polish Government should be reorganised on the basis of a broader democratism through the inclusion of democratic leaders in Poland and abroad. This Government is to be called the National Provisional Government."
At the end of the paragraph, the Soviet delegation proposed the addition of the following words: "non-fascist and anti-fascist parties", with the whole reading thus: "All non-
fascist and anti-fascist democratic parties must have the right to participate in these elections and nominate candidates."
The Soviet delegation also considered it necessary to add the following sentence: "When the Polish Government of National Unity is formed in the specified manner, the Three Governments will recognise it." Finally, the Soviet delegation proposed the exclusion of the last clause of the American proposal – concerning the duty of the ambassadors of the Three Powers in Warsaw to observe and report on the fulfilment of the obligation on the staging of free elections on the ground that the ambassadors of the Three Powers accredited to the Polish Government had full possibility of observing developments in Poland, that being their immediate duty. The Soviet delegation indicated that with these amendments it considered the American proposal acceptable.]
Churchill declared that he was glad that a great step had been made towards agreement on the Polish question. But he wished to make a few general remarks before its discussion was continued. Churchill was of the opinion that it should not be decided in haste. The possibility of agreement was already in the air, but there was a danger of everything being spoiled by undue haste. It was better to give a little more thought to the proposal of the Soviet delegation. It was true that there remained only 48 hours for their meetings. However, Churchill did not wish to ruin the whole thing because of the Conference wanting some 24 hours. If those 24 hours were needed to reach agreement, they had to be found. One thing should not be forgotten: if the participants in the Conference left without reaching agreement on the Polish question, the whole Conference would be regarded as a failure.
Roosevelt proposed that Stettinius should complete his report, after which they would adjourn for half an hour to study the proposals of the Soviet delegation.
Churchill stressed once again that the participants in the Conference had a very valuable prize almost in their grasp. They must not let the prize be broken because of undue haste. They must have a little time for thought. However, Churchill did not object to Roosevelt's proposal.
Stalin also accepted Roosevelt's proposal.
Stettinius, continuing his report, said that he would go on
to the question of reparations. The American delegation had submitted its project of the principles of levying reparations on Germany. The delegations were unanimous on Points 1 and 2 of the American draft.1 On Point 3 they had reached a compromise, namely: the Moscow Reparations Commission would take as a basis for its work the total amount of reparations of $20,000 million, by way of lump withdrawals and annual goods deliveries, of which 50 per cent were earmarked for the Soviet Union.
On this point, Eden had made a reservation to the effect that he had not yet received instructions from London. The Soviet delegation declared that the reparations would be calculated on the basis of 1938 prices, with increases between 10 and 15 per cent, depending on the nature of the object.
Stettinius then dealt with the forthcoming conference of the United Nations. The American delegation, he said, proposed that before the conference the future permanent members of the Council should have consultations with each other through diplomatic channels concerning the trusteeship over colonial and dependent peoples.
Churchill [in great agitation] resolutely protested against any discussion of the question. Great Britain had been carrying on a hard struggle for so long to preserve the integrity of the British Commonwealth of Nations and the British Empire. He was sure that the struggle would end in complete success, and while the British flag flew over the territories of the British Crown, he would not allow any piece
"1. Reparations are to be received in the first place by countries which had borne the main burden of the war, had suffered the greatest losses and had organised the victory over the enemy.
"2. Leaving aside the question of the use of German manpower in the form of reparations, a question to be examined later, reparations in kind must be levied on Germany in the following two forms:
“a) Lump withdrawals at the end of the war from Germany's national wealth, both on the territory of Germany proper and outside (equipment, machine-tools, ships, rolling stock, German investments abroad, shares of industrial, transport, shipping and other enterprises in Germany, etc.), with these withdrawals being aimed chiefly to effect the military and economic disarmament of Germany.
"These withdrawals should be completed within two years after the war."b) Annual goods deliveries over a period of 10 years after the end of the war." (Retranslated from the Russian. – Ed.)
of British soil to be put up for auction before 40 states. The British Empire would never be placed in the dock of an international court on the question of "trusteeship" over under-age nations.
Stettinius reassured Churchill that it was not a question of the British Empire. The American delegation wanted the world organisation to establish trusteeship, in case of necessity, over territories which would be taken away from the enemy.
Churchill declared that he had no objections if the question was of enemy territories. It might be the appropriate thing to establish trusteeship over these territories.
Stettinius added that the conference of the Three Ministers recognised it as desirable to have a discussion of the trusteeship question at the United Nations Conference.
Churchill insisted on a qualification in the text of the decision that the discussion of the trusteeship question in no sense related to the territory of the British Empire. Turning to Stalin, Churchill asked what his feelings would have been if an international organisation had offered to place the Crimea under international control as an international holiday resort.
Stalin replied that he would willingly make the Crimea available for Three-Power conferences.
Stettinius declared that the sub-commission set up to work out the question of invitation to the United Nations Conference continued its work and would report that day on the results to the Foreign Ministers.
[It was then decided, on the proposal of Stettinius, that the persons appointed by the British and the Soviet sides, should prepare a report on the Yugoslav question.]
Churchill remarked that there were no considerable differences on the Yugoslav question.
Stettinius declared that it had been decided to put the Tito-Subasić agreement into effect before the conclusion of the. Crimea Conference, in spite of King Peter's whims.
Churchill declared that the British delegation had two highly valuable amendments to the Tito-Subasić agreement. They had been handed to the Russian friends. If the participants in the Conference decided the amendments to be appropriate, they could be recommended to Subasić and Tito for acceptance.
Stalin remarked that the Soviet side could also make its own amendments. The British delegation would then propose something else. The question was being dragged out, while the situation in Yugoslavia remained unstable.
Churchill declared that Tito was a dictator in his country. They could ask him to accept the amendments.
Stalin replied that Tito was not a dictator at all. The situation in Yugoslavia remained indefinite.
Eden declared that there was no question of changing the Tito-Subasić agreement. The question was only of the two assurances which Subasić would ask of Tito in any case.
Stalin said that the amendments tabled by the British boiled down to having the deputies of the Skupština who had not compromised themselves by collaboration with the Germans included in the Anti-Fascist Veće. The second amendment consisted in the proposal that the legislative acts adopted by the Anti-Fascist Veće should be subsequently confirmed by the Constituent Assembly. The Soviet delegation was essentially in agreement with those amendments. They were correct. But he considered that they should in no way delay the formation of a new Government.
Eden declared that the British Government wanted an immediate implementation of the Tito-Subasić agreement. Later, Tito could be asked to accept the amendments in question.
Churchill also expressed agreement.
Eden said that Subasić was to have left London for Yugoslavia on February 7.
Churchill remarked that information on whether he had left or not would be available the next day. At any rate Subasić would leave as soon as the weather permitted.
Stalin declared that before they left the Crimea, the Three Powers should recommend that the Tito-Subasić agreement be put into effect immediately and a single Yugoslav Government formed on the basis of the agreement, regardless of any of the fantastic ideas Peter might have in his head.
Churchill proposed the insertion of a corresponding clause in the communiqué. In that connection, Churchill asked whether there was agreement that the said amendments should be subsequently recommended to Tito.
Stalin replied that he never made empty statements. He always kept his word.
[After the break.]
Roosevelt declared that he had made a closer study of the proposals of the Soviet delegation on the Polish question and had exchanged opinions with the British side. He felt the whole thing now turned on a certain difference in the wording. The participants in the Conference were close to agreement. Great progress had indeed been achieved in this question. But the phrase, "The present Provisional Polish Government should be reorganised on the basis of a broader democratism", would embarrass the position of those Governments which recognised the Polish Government in London. Roosevelt wanted to have the expression "the present Provisional Polish Government" substituted by the words "the Polish Government now functioning in Poland".
Furthermore, said Roosevelt, the Soviet delegation had proposed the deletion of the final phrase concerning the duty of the ambassadors of our three states to observe the free elections in Poland. It was better not to do that. In that connection, Roosevelt wanted to recall that there were six million Poles in the United States. In respect of them, some sort of gesture should be made to reassure them that the elections in Poland would be fair and free. Roosevelt believed that, considering that the participants in the Conference were so close to agreement, it would be advisable for the Foreign Ministers to work a little that night and report the next day on the results of their work to the Conference.
Churchill agreed with the President that great progress had been made that day towards a joint statement by the Allied Powers on the Polish question. Churchill had no objections to have the matter finally elaborated by the three Foreign Ministers. But at the moment he wanted to dwell on two small points which flowed from what Marshal Stalin had said the previous day. Marshal Stalin had told how Poland had been liberated and how the enemy had been expelled from the country by the Red Army. That was a new fact of very great significance. That is why Churchill believed it would be advisable to emphasise the fact before the whole world and to open the declaration on Poland with something like the following words: "The Red Army has liberated Poland. This makes it necessary to set up a fully representative Polish Government, which can now be established on a broader basis than was possible before the liberation of Western Poland."
Page 119The second point Churchill wanted to call attention to was the concluding phrase of the American draft. The British Government was at a disadvantage in negotiations on Polish affairs because it had little knowledge of what was going on in Poland herself. At the same time, the British Government had to take important decisions relating to Poland. Churchill was aware that the relations between the various groups of Poles were highly aggravated. Osobka-Morawski, for instance, had not long before used rather threatening language in respect of the London Government: the Lublin Government intended to institute judicial proceedings against all soldiers of the Polish Army and members of the Polish underground, as traitors. This had caused the British Government serious apprehension.
Of course, it was necessary above all to remove all the obstacles in the way of the Red Army's operations. Nevertheless, Churchill wanted to request Marshal Stalin to take account of the British Government's difficult position. The British Government really had no knowledge of what was going on inside Poland, because the only way it could obtain information was to drop parachutists in Poland from time to time or talk with people, members of the underground movement, who arrived from Poland. That was a highly unsatisfactory situation.
How was it to be altered without at the same time creating difficulties for the Red Army's operations? Churchill reiterated that he placed the interests of the operations of the Soviet forces above all else. Still: couldn't the British be given the corresponding opportunities, which, Churchill believed, would also be readily used by the Americans, to see for themselves how the existing dissensions were being settled in Poland? That was why the British delegation thought the final phrase in the American draft was so important.
When elections were held in Yugoslavia, Marshal Tito, as he had understood it, would not object to the presence of Soviet, American and British observers, so that these observers could assure the whole world that the elections were conducted the right way. As for Greece, the British would welcome the presence of Soviet, American and British observers, when the elections took place there. The same applied to Italy. When Northern Italy was liberated, a sharp change would take place in Italy's internal situation, and elections
to a constituent assembly or a parliament would have to be held. The British Government believed that a Soviet, American and British observers must have the possibility of attending the elections in Italy so as to assure the Great Powers of their normal conduct.
The considerations expressed by Churchill had real grounds. In Egypt, for instance, victory always went to the Government staging the election. Nahas Pasha had quarrelled with the King and wanted to stage an election. The King said that so long as Nahas Pasha remained a member of the Government, there would be no election. And naturally when Nahas Pasha was expelled from the Government, the King's men won the election and took his place.
Stalin remarked that no real election could be held in Egypt. Bribery there was still widespread. Stalin asked what the literacy percentage in Egypt was. (None of the British delegation was able to answer the question.) In Poland, literacy was as high as 70-75 per cent. Those were people who read the papers and could voice their opinion. There could be no comparison between Egypt and Poland.
Churchill replied that he had no intention of making a comparison between Poland and Egypt. He merely wanted to say that the elections must be free and just. He was interested, for instance, in whether Mikolajczyk would be allowed to take part in the election.
Stalin replied that the question had to be discussed with the Poles.
Churchill asked whether the ambassadors should discuss the question during their negotiations with the Poles in Moscow.
Stalin replied that this had to be done in accordance with the decision which they were going to adopt.
Churchill replied that he had no desire to continue discussing the matter, but he wished to have the possibility of informing Parliament that the elections would be free, and that justice in their conduct had been guaranteed.
Stalin said that Mikolajczyk was a representative of the peasant party. It was not a fascist party. It would, of course, be allowed to take part in the election. Some of the candidates from the peasant party would enter the Government. But he thought the solution of the question should be left until its discussion with the Poles. They would arrive and
could be heard. There were men with different views among the Poles.
Churchill declared that the only thing he wanted was, upon his return to Britain, to get the question of Poland's eastern border through Parliament. Churchill believed that to be possible if the Poles could decide between themselves the question of a Government. He, Churchill, did not have too high an opinion of the Poles.
Stalin remarked that there were very good men among the Poles. The Poles were brave fighters. The Polish people had produced some outstanding scientists and artists.
Churchill said that the only thing he wanted was for all the sides to have equal opportunities.
Stalin remarked that all non-fascist and anti-fascist sides would have equal opportunities.
Churchill said that he did not consider it quite right to have the watershed run between fascist and non-fascist. He preferred the term "democrats".
Stalin said that he had before him the draft Declaration on Liberated Europe proposed by the American delegation. The draft contained the following sentence: "The establishment of order in Europe and the reconstruction of national economic life should be achieved in a way that would allow the liberated peoples to obliterate the last traces of fascism and Nazism, and to create democratic institutions of their own choice." (Retranslated from the Russian. – Ed.) Those were good words! There the distinction between fascism and anti-fascism was clearly drawn. Those words showed that there could be no unity between democracy and fascism.
Churchill confirmed that no such unity could or would exist.
Roosevelt said that, in his view, Poland would provide an example of the practical implementation of the principles of the Declaration on Liberated Europe. The sentence read out by Marshal Stalin was of great significance, because it gave them the opportunity to obliterate all traces of fascism. The following paragraph of the Declaration said that the peoples could establish provisional government authorities representing all democratic sections of the population, and subsequently to set up permanent ones through free and just elections. Roosevelt would like the Polish elections to be, like Caesar's wife, above suspicion.
Stalin remarked that Caesar's wife only had that kind of reputation. Actually, she wasn't all that lily-white.
Roosevelt said that the elections in Poland had to be absolutely "pure", so pure that no one could cast any doubt on them, and that the Poles themselves – very hot-headed people – could accept the elections without any reservations. Roosevelt summed up by saying that the Foreign Ministers were well aware of the views of their Heads of Government concerning the Polish elections. They should deal with the question that night and report on the results of their work the following day.
Stalin said that he agreed with Roosevelt's amendment: the substitution of the words "the present Provisional Government" by the words "the Provisional Government now functioning in Poland".
Roosevelt went on to the next question, the Declaration on Liberated Europe.
Churchill said that Eden wanted to make a remark on the draft Declaration. Churchill himself agreed with the Declaration; he considered it necessary to note in the record that Great Britain followed the principles of the Atlantic Charter in the sense which Churchill had given it in Parliament upon his return from Newfoundland. Churchill would present the text of his Parliamentary statement at the next sitting [ ... ].
Roosevelt proposed that the sitting be closed.
Churchill said that he wanted to discuss the question of war criminals. What he meant was war criminals whose crimes were not connected with definite geographical places.
Roosevelt declared that the question of war criminals was a complicated one. It was impossible to examine it during the current Conference. Wouldn't it be better to refer the question to the three Foreign Ministers? Let them submit a report within three or four weeks.
Churchill said that he had drawn up a draft declaration on war criminals for the Moscow Conference of 1943. At the time, Churchill had made a proposal, which had been adopted, on the handing over of criminals to the countries where they had committed their crimes. The said declaration also made mention of the chief criminals whose crimes were not connected with any specific geographical place. What was to be done with these chief criminals? Churchill thought the first thing to do was to draw up a list of such persons,
with the right of adding to it in the future. That would isolate them from their peoples. Churchill believed that the best thing would be to shoot the chief criminals as soon as they were caught.
Stalin asked: What was to be done with criminals who, like Hess, had been caught already? Would he be included in the list which Churchill proposed to draw up? Could prisoners of war be included in the list of criminals? The old view had been that prisoners of war could not be tried.
Churchill replied that, of course, prisoners of war who had violated the laws could be put on trial. Otherwise war criminals would start surrendering in order to avoid punishment. However, Churchill had understood Marshal Stalin to mean that before the chief criminals were shot they should be tried.
Stalin replied in the affirmative.
Churchill asked what the court procedure was to be: juridical or political?
Roosevelt declared that the procedure should not be too juridical. At all events, correspondents and photographers should not be admitted to the trial.
Churchill said that, in his view, the trial of the chief criminals should be a political and not a juridical act. Churchill would like the Three Powers to be clear on this question. However, nothing should be published on the subject to prevent the chief criminals from revenging themselves on Allied prisoners of war.
Roosevelt proposed that the question of the war criminals should be referred for study to the Foreign Ministers of the Three Powers.
[That was accepted.]
Stalin asked whether the offensive on the Western front had started.
Churchill replied that a 100,000-strong British Army had started an offensive in the Nijmegen area at 10 o'clock the previous morning. The troops had advanced 3,000 yards on a five-mile front. They had reached the Siegfried Line. The defences were not particularly strong, with the exception of two villages. Several hundred prisoners had been taken. The second wave of the offensive was due to start the following day. The U.S. Ninth Army was extending the front of its offensive. The offensive would be continuous and would steadily grow.
February 10, 1945
Eden read out the text of the Statement on Poland agreed at the conferences of the Foreign Ministers on the night of February 9 and the morning of February 10.
Roosevelt declared that he agreed with the text of the Statement on Poland read out by Eden.
Churchill said that an agreement had been reached on Poland's eastern border, and there was agreement that the Poles should be given East Prussia and the territory up to the Oder. However, Churchill had some doubts about whether the Poles should have their border run along the Neisse River (Western). Churchill added that he had received a cable from the War Cabinet which set out the apprehensions concerning the difficulties involved in resettling large numbers of people into Germany.
Roosevelt remarked that it would be desirable to have the opinion of the new Polish Government on the western border.
Stalin said that the Statement should say something definite about the border.
Churchill believed it was important to issue a statement on the agreement reached on the question of the eastern border (Curzon Line). But then if nothing were said there and then about the western border, people would at once ask where Poland's border in the west was to run. Churchill believed that the opinion of the Poles themselves on the question of the western border should be taken into account and that this question should be settled at the peace conference.
Roosevelt thought that it would be better to say nothing about Poland's borders, because the question still had to be discussed in the Senate, and he, Roosevelt, was not authorised to take any decisions on it.
Churchill declared that something still had to be said about the western border. He thought a suitable formula could be found, since the Three Governments were agreed that Poland was to receive an accession of territory to the west and the north, and that the opinion of the Polish Government was to be taken into account in deciding the question.
Stalin also considered it necessary to have the decision refer to Poland's borders.
Roosevelt agreed with that in principle and proposed that the three Foreign Ministers should be asked to examine the question and add another paragraph on borders to the text of the Statement on Poland.
[The Conference adopted the proposal and went on to the Declaration on Liberated Europe.
The Soviet delegation proposed the following addendum to the third paragraph from the end:
"They will immediately consult with each other on the necessary measures in exercising the joint responsibility established in the present Declaration."
The proposal of the Soviet delegation was adopted.]
Eden declared that there was another addendum concerning the French. The text of the addendum was as follows:
"In issuing the present Declaration, the Three Powers express the hope that the Provisional Government of the French Republic may join them in the proposed procedure."
Roosevelt declared that after some thought he had arrived at the conclusion that de Gaulle could join in the Declaration, if the French took part in the Allied control mechanism in Germany. He, Roosevelt, had previously been against France taking part in the Control Council in Germany, but he now favoured French participation in it.
Stalin declared that he had no objection to the French participating in the Control Council, and that he favoured their joining in the Declaration.
Churchill said that that should be said in the communiqué. Stalin and Roosevelt agreed with Churchill's proposal.
[The Conference went on to the question of Yugoslavia.]
Eden proposed the dispatch of a cable to Tito and Subasić.
Stalin proposed that the text of the cable should speak of the immediate entry into force of the Tito-Subasić agreement, the inclusion of the members of the Skupština into the body of the Veće, and the approval by the new parliament of the laws adopted by the Veće. He proposed that Point 3 of the cable – saying that the Government was merely a provisional one until the free expression of the people's will – be dropped and the whole text of the cabled message incorporated in the communiqué.
Roosevelt and Churchill agreed with Stalin's proposal.
[The Conference then adopted a decision to entrust the
working out of the text of the cable to the three Foreign Ministers.]
Eden reported that everything had been agreed on the question of the international security organisation.
[The Conference went on to the question of reparations.]
Churchill said that the amount of reparations should not be specified.
Roosevelt agreed that perhaps nothing should be said at that time about amounts of money. It would be better to authorise the Reparations Commission to make a study of the question and then to determine the amount of reparations.
Stalin declared that it would be wrong to create the impression that they intended to levy reparations in the form of money. It was not a question of money but of goods worth $20,000 million. There were already three agreements – with Hungary, Finland and Rumania – which stated the amount of reparations levied in kind, and until then they had not had any misunderstandings on that score. Or was it the wish of the Conference that the Russians should not receive any reparations at all?
Churchill said: Not at all, on the contrary. He wanted to propose that the Commission should study the question of reparations and draw up a report on the levy of reparations.
Stalin raised the question: Was there agreement that goods should be taken from Germany to cover the losses? They had not yet taken any decision on the question of reparations, and even the principles of levying reparations had not been adopted. He proposed the adoption of the following decision: "The Three Powers are in agreement that Germany must compensate in goods (or in kind) the most substantial damage inflicted by her on the Allied nations in the course of the war. The Reparations Commission is to discuss the question of the amounts of compensation for the losses, taking the Soviet-American formula as a basis, and is to report on the results to the Governments." Stalin further pointed out that the American side had agreed to accept the figure of $20,000 million as a basis for discussion, naturally assuming that the compensation of losses was to be in kind. The Soviet side was not proposing the publication of the decision just then. That could be done when all the Three Powers would deem such a step necessary.
Roosevelt declared that he agreed with Stalin's proposals.
Churchill reiterated that the Conference would not bind itself by any figures until the Reparations Commission had made a study of the question and had arrived at definite conclusions.
Stalin replied that they were not obliging the Conference to adopt any figures, but were merely asking the Commission to take the said figure as material for discussion.
Churchill announced that he had received a cable from the War Cabinet and wanted to read out an extract from it. Churchill then declared that the British considered it absolutely impossible to name any amount of reparations just then. Churchill pointed out that the British attached special importance to the capacity of the Germans to pay for their imports. Otherwise, they would find themselves in the position, said Churchill, when they would have to pay Germany, while others received the reparations.
Stalin asked Churchill to name his figure of reparations. The Soviet side did not consider its figure invariable and merely offered it for discussion. He proposed the adoption of a decision on reparations in the following form:
1) The Heads of the Three Governments agreed that Germany must compensate in kind the damage inflicted by her on the Allied nations in the course of the war.
2) To authorise the Moscow Reparations Commission to discuss the question of the amounts of losses subject to compensation and report its conclusions to the Governments.
Roosevelt and Churchill declared that they agreed with Stalin's proposal.Stalin asked ironically: You will not go back on this tomorrow? [ ... ]
[The Conference went on to the question of Poland's borders.]
Eden read out the British draft of the addendum to the Statement on Poland concerning her borders.
Roosevelt said that on the question of Poland's borders he had an amendment to the text: instead of the words "the Three Governments" insert "the Heads of the Three Governments". Roosevelt explained that if it said "the Three Governments", he, as President, would have to take the question to Congress, something that it was desirable to avoid. In the second phrase, the words "the Three Governments" should be deleted and the word "recognised" written instead. In the last phrase, the words "they agree" should be sub-
stituted by "they consider". Roosevelt accepted the text of the addendum to the Statement on Poland with the said amendments.
[The text of the addendum on Poland's borders was adopted with Roosevelt's amendments.]
Roosevelt opened the sitting and proposed to start a discussion of the draft Communiqué.
Stalin proposed that the American draft Communiqué should be taken as a basis for discussion.
Churchill agreed with that.
[The Conference adopted the American draft as a basis and went on to discuss Section I of the Communiqué: The Defeat of Germany.]
Churchill proposed the deletion in the second phrase of the word "jointly".
[Churchill's proposal was adopted.]
Stalin remarked that the first section of the Communiqué was well drafted, and proposed that they go on to a discussion of the second section.
[Stalin's proposal was adopted.]
Eden proposed that the following words should be added concerning the French zone: "The limits of the French zone will be agreed by the four Governments concerned through their representatives on the K.A.C."
[Eden's addendum was adopted. The Conference went on to a discussion of Section III on Reparation by Germany.]
Churchill asked that he be shown the draft of the special protocol on reparations from Germany proposed that morning by the Soviet delegation.
After studying the text of the protocol, Churchill remarked that in English "reparation" sounded better and was more impressive than "reparations".
Churchill agreed to leave, in Section III of the Communiqué, the general reference to Germany's reparation of the damage inflicted by her on the Allied countries.
Roosevelt agreed with the text of Section III and Churchill's remarks on it.
Eden did not object to the text of the Soviet protocol on reparations, but proposed that the final discussion of it should be postponed until the entire text of the Communiqué was reviewed.
[The Conference went on to discuss Section IV on the United Nations Conference.]
The Soviet delegation proposed the addition of a new paragraph following the first two with this wording: "It was also decided to recommend to the Conference that it should invite the Ukraine and Byelorussia as original members of the international security organisation."]
Roosevelt declared that the publication of that decision at that time would create political difficulties for him at home, and proposed that they confine themselves to the agreement reached at the Conference to the effect that the Americans would support the proposal to invite the two Soviet Republics as original members of the organisation.
Churchill also believed that great difficulties and disputes could arise in the event of publication of the decision on the Soviet Republics. The British dominions could lodge protests against one state having more than one vote. Churchill needed to contact the dominions and prepare them on the question of the Ukraine and Byelorussia participating as original members in the international security organisation. That is why he proposed that the agreement on the Ukraine and Byelorussia should be written into the decisions of the Conference.
Stalin said that in that case the Soviet delegation could withdraw its proposal, and proposed that they should go on.
Roosevelt declared that Stalin's agreement to withdraw the Soviet proposal would help Roosevelt to avoid a war with the Irish in the United States.
[The Conference went on to discuss Section V on the Declaration on Liberated Europe.]
Churchill declared that he had no remarks or amendments.
Roosevelt and Stalin declared that they did not have any amendments either.
[The text of Section V was adopted. The Conference went on to discuss Section VI on Poland. The Declaration on Poland was adopted without amendments.]
Churchill remarked, with reference to that section, that he anticipated great criticism of the British Government, especially by the London Poles, and accusations that it had surrendered its positions to the U.S.S.R.
Roosevelt declared that he has ten times as many Poles in the United States as Churchill had in Britain, but he would nevertheless back the Declaration on Poland in every way.
[The Conference went on to discuss Section VII on Yugoslavia. The text of Section VII was adopted. The Conference went on to discuss Section VIII on the Meetings of the Foreign Secretaries.]
Stalin proposed the adoption of the British text.
[All agreed. The Conference went on to discuss the section of the British draft which dealt with prisoners of war.]
Stalin proposed that the section on prisoners of war should not be included in the Communiqué, but that its text should be adopted as a special decision.
Churchill asked whether they could publish the agreement on prisoners of war which was to be signed that day after the morning sitting.
Stalin replied that the agreement could be published. [The Conference went on to discuss Section IX on Unity for Peace as for War. The text of the Anglo-American draft of the section was adopted by all without any objections or remarks. The Conference went on to discuss the last section of the American draft Communiqué: Summary.]
Stalin tabled the proposal: was it not better to exclude the Summary, because it was weaker than the content of the Communiqué itself?
Roosevelt and Churchill agreed with that.
[Discussion of the Communiqué was ended.]
Roosevelt said that the Communiqué should be signed by the Heads of Government and he, Roosevelt, proposed that Stalin's signature should be affixed first.
Stalin objected by saying that there was a sharp-tongued press in the United States, which could give the impression that Stalin had had the President and the Prime Minister on a lead. That was why he proposed that the Communiqué should be signed in alphabetical order, that is, with Roosevelt's first, Stalin's second, and Churchill's third.
Churchill declared that according to the English alphabet his signature would be first.
Stalin replied that he was prepared to accept Churchill's proposal.
[The Heads of Government agreed to sign the Communiqué after luncheon, when the Foreign Ministers had made
Page 131the amendments in accordance with the results of the discussion of the text of the Communiqué at that day's sitting.] Returning to the question of the protocol on reparations from Germany, Roosevelt said that the draft protocol proposed by the Soviet delegation was acceptable to him.
Churchill declared that he wanted to read the text of the draft protocol once again, as, he thought, it would require some stylistic editing, without however any changes in the content of the protocol. Having read it, Churchill declared that, apart from some stylistic changes, he agreed with the draft protocol.
Churchill proposed that they discuss the time of publication of the Communiqué.
Early proposed that the Communiqué should be published at 8.00 a.m. Washington time on February 13.
[As a result of the discussion of the question, the Heads of Government agreed to broadcast the text of the Communiqué simultaneously in Moscow, London and Washington, at 23.30 Moscow time on Monday, February 12.]
On the Crimea Conference of the Heads of Government of the Soviet Union, the United States and Great Britain
For the past eight days, Winston S. Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, and Marshal J. V. Stalin, Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics have met with the Foreign Secretaries, Chiefs of Staff, and other advisers in the Crimea.
The following statement is made by the Prime Minister of Great Britain, the President of the United States of America, and the Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the results of the Crimea Conference:
The Defeat of Germany
We have considered and determined the military plans of the Three Allied Powers for the final defeat of the common enemy. The military staffs of the three Allied Nations have met in daily meetings throughout the Conference. These meetings have been most satisfactory from every point of view and have resulted in closer co-ordination of the military effort of the Three Allies than ever before. The fullest information has been interchanged. The timing, scope, and co-ordination of new and even more powerful blows to be launched by our Armies and Air Forces into the heart of Germany from the east, west, north, and south have been fully agreed and planned in detail.
Our combined military plans will be made known only as we execute them, but we believe that the very close working partnership among the three staffs attained at this Conference will result in shortening the war. Meetings of the
three staffs will be continued in the future whenever the need arises.
Nazi Germany is doomed. The German people will only make the cost of their defeat heavier to themselves by attempting to continue a hopeless resistance.
The Occupation and Control of Germany
We have agreed on common policies and plans for enforcing the unconditional surrender terms which we shall impose together on Nazi Germany after German armed resistance has been finally crushed. These terms will not be made known until the final defeat of Germany has been accomplished. Under the agreed plan, the forces of the Three Powers will each occupy a separate zone of Germany. Coordinated administration and control has been provided for under the plan through a Central Control Commission, consisting of the supreme commanders of the Three Powers, with headquarters in Berlin. It has been agreed that France should be invited by the Three Powers, if she should so desire, to take over a zone of occupation, and to participate as a fourth member of the Control Commission. The limits of the French zone will be agreed by the four Governments concerned through their representatives on the European Advisory Commission.
It is our inflexible purpose to destroy German militarism and Nazism and to ensure that Germany will never again be able to disturb the peace of the world. We are determined to disarm and disband all German armed forces; break up for all time the German General Staff that has repeatedly contrived the resurgence of German militarism; remove or destroy all German military equipment; eliminate or control all German industry that could be used for military production; bring all war criminals to just and swift punishment and exact reparation in kind for the destruction wrought by the Germans; wipe out the Nazi Party, Nazi laws, organisations, and institutions, remove all Nazi and militarist influences from public office and from the cultural and economic life of the German people; and take in
harmony such other measures in Germany as may be necessary to the future peace and safety of the world. It is not our purpose to destroy the people of Germany, but only when Nazism and militarism have been extirpated will there be hope for a decent life for Germans, and a place for them in the comity of nations.
Reparation by Germany
We have considered the question of the damage caused by Germany to the Allied Nations in this war and recognised it as just that Germany be obliged to make compensation for this damage in kind to the greatest extent possible.
A commission for the compensation of damage will be established. The commission will be instructed to consider the question of the extent and methods for compensating damage caused by Germany to the Allied countries. The commission will work in Moscow.
United Nations Conference
We are resolved upon the earliest possible establishment with our Allies of a general international organisation to maintain peace and security. We believe that this is essential, both to prevent aggression and to remove the political, economic, and social causes of war through the close and continuing collaboration of all peace-loving peoples.
The foundations were laid at Dumbarton Oaks. On the important question of voting procedure, however, agreement was not there reached. The present Conference has been able to resolve this difficulty.
We have agreed that a Conference of United Nations should be called to meet at San Francisco in the United States on April 25, 1945, to prepare the Charter of such an organisation, along the lines proposed in the informal conversations at Dumbarton Oaks.
The Government of China and the Provisional Government of France will be immediately consulted and invited to sponsor invitations to the Conference jointly with the Gov-
Page 135ernments of the United States, Great Britain, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. As soon as the consultation with China and France has been completed, the text of the proposals on voting procedure will be made public.
Declaration on Liberated Europe
We have drawn up and subscribed to a Declaration on Liberated Europe. This Declaration provides for concerting policies of the Three Powers and for joint action by them in meeting the political and economic problems of liberated Europe in accordance with democratic principles. The text of the Declaration is as follows:
"The Premier of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and the President of the United States of America have consulted with each other in the common interests of the peoples of their countries and those of liberated Europe. They jointly declare their mutual agreement to concert during the temporary period of instability in liberated Europe the policies of their Three Governments in assisting the peoples liberated from the domination of Nazi Germany and the peoples of the former Axis satellite states of Europe to solve by democratic means their pressing political and economic problems.
"The establishment of order in Europe and the rebuilding of national economic life must be achieved by processes which will enable the liberated peoples to destroy the last vestiges of Nazism and fascism and to create democratic institutions of their own choice. This is a principle of the Atlantic Charter – the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live – the restoration of sovereign rights and self-government to those peoples who have been forcibly deprived of them by the aggressor nations.
"To foster the conditions in which the liberated peoples may exercise these rights, the Three Governments will jointly assist the people in any European liberated state or former Axis satellite state in Europe where in their judgement conditions require (a) to establish conditions of internal peace; (b) to carry out emergency measures for the
relief of distressed people; (c) to form interim governmental authorities broadly representative of all democratic elements in the population and pledged to the earliest possible establishment through free elections of governments responsible to the will of the people; and (d) to facilitate where necessary the holding of such elections.
"The Three Governments will consult the other United Nations and provisional authorities or other Governments in Europe when matters of direct interest to them are under consideration.
"When, in the opinion of the Three Governments, conditions in any European liberated state or any former Axis satellite state in Europe make such action necessary, they will immediately consult together on the measures necessary to discharge the joint responsibilities set forth in this declaration.
"By this Declaration we reaffirm our faith in the principles of the Atlantic Charter, our pledge in the Declaration by the United Nations, and our determination to build in co-operation with other peace-loving nations world order under law, dedicated to peace, security, freedom, and general well-being of all mankind.
"In issuing this Declaration, the Three Powers express the hope that the Provisional Government of the French Republic may be associated with them in the procedure suggested."
We came to the Crimea Conference resolved to settle our differences about Poland. We discussed fully all aspects of the question. We reaffirm our common desire to see established a strong, free, independent and democratic Poland. As a result of our discussions we have agreed on the conditions in which a new Polish Provisional Government of National Unity may be formed in such a manner as to command recognition by the three major Powers.
The agreement reached is as follows:
"A new situation has been created in Poland as a result of her complete liberation by the Red Army. This calls for
the establishment of a Polish Provisional Government which can be more broadly based than was possible before the recent liberation of western Poland. The Provisional Government which is now functioning in Poland should therefore be reorganised on a broader democratic basis with the inclusion of democratic leaders from Poland itself and from Poles abroad. This new Government should then be called the Polish Provisional Government of National Unity.
"Mr. Molotov, Mr. Harriman, and Sir A. Clark Kerr are authorised as a commission to consult in the first instance in Moscow with members of the present Provisional Government and with other Polish democratic leaders from within Poland and from abroad, with a view to the reorganisation of the present Government along the above lines. This Polish Provisional Government of National Unity shall be pledged to the holding of free and unfettered elections as soon as possible, on the basis of universal suffrage and secret ballot. In these elections all democratic and anti-Nazi parties shall have the right to take part and to put forward candidates.
"When a Polish Provisional Government of National Unity has been properly formed in conformity with the above, the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which now maintains diplomatic relations with the present Provisional Government of Poland, and the Government of the United Kingdom, and the Government of the United States of America, will establish diplomatic relations with the new Polish Provisional Government of National Unity, and will exchange ambassadors by whose reports the respective Governments will be kept informed about the situation in Poland.
"The Three Heads of Government consider that the eastern frontier of Poland should follow the Curzon line with digressions from it in some regions of 5 to 8 kilometres in favour of Poland. They recognised that Poland must receive substantial accessions of territory in the north and west. They feel that the opinion of the new Polish Provisional Government of National Unity should be sought in due course on the extent of these accessions and that the final delimitation of the western frontier of Poland should thereafter await the peace conference."
We have agreed to recommend to Marshal Tito and Dr. Subasić that the Agreement between them should be put into effect immediately, and that a new Government should be formed on the basis of that Agreement.
We also recommend that as soon as the new Government has been formed it should declare that:
1) the Anti-Fascist Assembly of National Liberation (Avnoj) should be extended to include members of the last Yugoslav Parliament (Skupština) who have not compromised themselves by collaboration with the enemy, thus forming a body to be known as a temporary parliament; and,
2) legislative acts passed by the Anti-Fascist Assembly of National Liberation will be subject to subsequent ratification by a Constituent Assembly.
There was also a: general review of other Balkan questions.
Meetings of Foreign Secretaries
Throughout the Conference, besides the daily meetings of the Heads of Government and the Foreign Secretaries, separate meetings of the three .Foreign Secretaries, and their advisers have also been held dally.
These meetings have proved of the utmost value and the Conference agree that permanent machinery should be set up for regular consultation between the three Foreign Secretaries. They will, therefore, meet as often as may be necessary, probably about every 3 or 4 months. These meetings will be held in rotation in the three capitals, the first meeting being held in London, after the United Nations Conference on World Organisation.
Unity for Peace as for War
Our meeting here in the Crimea has reaffirmed our common determination to maintain and strengthen in the peace to come that unity of purpose and of action which has made
victory possible and certain for the United Nations in this war. We believe that this is a sacred obligation which our Governments owe to our peoples and to all the peoples of the world.
Only with the continuing and growing co-operation and understanding among our three countries and among all the peace-loving nations can the highest aspiration of humanity be realised – a secure and lasting peace which will, in the words of the Atlantic Charter, "afford assurance, that all the men in all the lands may live out their lives in freedom from fear and want".
Victory in this war and establishment of the proposed international organisation will provide the greatest opportunity in all history to create in the years to come the essential conditions of such a peace.
February 11, 1945
Franklin D. Roosevelt
J. V. Stalin
The Crimea Conference of the Heads of Government of the United States of America, the United Kingdom and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics which took place from February 4th to 11th came to the following conclusions.
It was decided:
(1) that a United Nations Conference on the proposed World Organisation should be summoned for Wednesday, 25th April, 1945, and should be held in the United States of America;
(2) the nations to be invited to this Conference should be:
(a) the United Nations as they existed on the 8th February, 1945 and
(b) such of the Associated Nations as have declared war on the common enemy by 1st March, 1945. (For this purpose by the term "Associated Nations" was meant the eight Associated Nations and Turkey.) When the Conference on
World Organisation is held, the delegates of the United Kingdom and United States of America will support a proposal to admit to original membership two Soviet Socialist Republics, i.e., the Ukraine and White Russia;
(3) that the United States Government on behalf of the Three Powers should consult the Government of China and the French Provisional Government in regard to the decisions taken at the present Conference concerning the proposed World Organisation;
(4) that the text of the invitation to be issued to all the nations which would take part in the United Nations Conference should be as follows:
"The Government of the United States of America, on behalf of itself and of the Governments of .the United Kingdom, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and the Republic of China and of the Provisional Government of the French Republic, invite the Government of .... to send representatives to a Conference of the United Nations to be held on 25th April, 1945, or soon thereafter, at San Francisco in the United States of America to prepare a Charter for a General International Organisation for the maintenance of international peace and security.
"The above-named Governments suggest that the Conference consider as affording a basis for such a Charter the Proposals for the Establishment of a .General International Organisation, which were made public last October as a result of the Dumbarton Oaks Conference, and which have now been supplemented by the following provisions for Section C of Chapter VI:
"1. Each member of the Security Council should have one vote.
"2. Decisions of the Security Council on procedural matters ·should be made by an affirmative vote of seven members.
"3. Decisions of the Security Council on all other matters should be made by an affirmative vote of seven members, including the concurring votes of the permanent members; provided that, in decisions under Chapter VIII, Section A
and under the second sentence of paragraph 1 of Section C, Chapter VIII, a party to a dispute should abstain from voting.
"Further information as to arrangements will be transmitted subsequently.
"In the event that the Government of ... desires in advance of the Conference to present views or comments concerning the proposals, the Government of the United States of America will be pleased to transmit such views and comments to the other participating Governments."
It was agreed that the five Nations which will have permanent seats on the Security Council should consult each other prior to the United Nations Conference on the question of territorial trusteeship.
The acceptance of this recommendation is subject to its being made clear that territorial trusteeship will only apply to (a) existing mandates of the League of Nations; (b) territories detached from the enemy as a result of the present war; (c) any other territory which might voluntarily be placed under trusteeship; and (d) no discussion of actual territories is contemplated at the forthcoming United Nations Conference or in the preliminary consultations, and it will be a matter for subsequent agreement which territories within the above categories will be placed under trusteeship.
It was agreed that a zone in Germany, to be occupied by the French Forces, should be allocated to France. This zone would be formed out of the British and American zones and its extent would be settled by the British and Americans in consultation with the French Provisional Government.
It was also agreed that the French Provisional Government should be invited to become a member of the Allied Control Council for Germany.
The following protocol has been approved.
The Heads of the three Governments have agreed as follows:
1. Germany must pay in kind for the losses cause by her to the Allied nations in the course of the war.
Reparations are to be received in the first instance by those countries which have borne the main burden of the war, have suffered the heaviest losses and have organised victory over the enemy.
2. Reparation in kind is to be exacted from Germany in three following forms:
a) Removals within 2 years from the surrender of Germany or the cessation of organised resistance from the national wealth of Germany located on the territory of Germany herself as well as outside her territory equipment, machine-tools, ships, rolling stock, German investments abroad, share of industrial, transport and other enterprises in Germany, etc.), these removals to be carried out chiefly for purpose of destroying the war potential of Germany:
b) Annual deliveries of goods from current production for a period to be fixed.
c) Use of German labour.
3. For the working out on the above principles of a detailed plan for exaction of reparation from Germany an Allied Reparation Commission will be set up in Moscow. It will consist of three representatives – one from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, one from the United Kingdom and one from the United States of America.
4 With regard to the fixing of the total sum of the reparation as well as the distribution of it among the countries which suffered from the German aggression the Soviet and American delegations agreed as follows:
"The Moscow Reparation Commission should take in its
initial studies as a basis for discussion the suggestion of the Soviet Government that the total sum of the reparation in accordance with the points (a) and (b) of the Paragraph 2 should be 20 billion dollars and that 50 per cent of it should go to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics."
The British delegation was of the opinion that pending consideration of the reparation question by the Moscow Reparation Commission no figures of reparation should be mentioned.
The above Soviet-American proposal has been passed to the Moscow Reparation Commission as one of the proposals to be considered by the Commission.
The Conference agreed that the question of the major war criminals should be the subject of enquiry by the three Foreign Secretaries for report in due course after the close of the Conference.
Negotiations have taken place at the Crimea Conference between the British, American and Soviet delegations on the conclusion of a comprehensive agreement concerning measures for the protection, maintenance and repatriation of prisoners of war and civilians of Great Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States of America liberated by the Allied forces now invading Germany. The texts of the Agreements signed on February 11 between the U.S.S.R. and Great Britain and between the U.S.S.R. and the United States of America are identical. The Agreement between the Soviet Union and Great Britain was signed by V. M. Molotov and Mr. Eden. The Agreement between the Soviet Union and the United States of America was signed by Lieut.-Gen. Gryzlov and General Deane.
Under these Agreements, each ally was to provide food, clothing, medical attention, and other needs for the nationals of the others until transport is available for their re-
patriation. Soviet officers were to assist British and American authorities in their task of caring for Soviet citizens liberated by the British and American forces during such time as they were on the continent of Europe or in the United Kingdom, awaiting transport to take them home.
British and American officers were to assist the Soviet Government in its task of caring for British subjects and American citizens.
With the achievement of agreement, the Three Governments were pledged to give every assistance consistent with operational requirements to help to insure that all these prisoners of war and civilians were speedily repatriated.
The leaders of the Three Great Powers – the Soviet Union, the United States of America and Great Britain – have agreed that in two or three months after Germany has surrendered and the war in Europe has terminated, the Soviet Union shall enter into the war against Japan on the side of the Allies on condition that:
1. The status quo in Outer-Mongolia (the Mongolian People's Republic) shall be preserved;
2. The former rights of Russia violated by the treacherous attack of Japan in 1904 shall be restored, viz.:
a) the southern part of Sakhalin as well as all the islands adjacent to it shall be returned to the Soviet Union,
b) the commercial port of Dairen shall be internationalised, the pre-eminent interests of the Soviet Union in this port being safeguarded and the lease of Port Arthur as a naval base of the U.S.S.R. restored,
c) the Chinese-Eastern Railroad and the South-Manchurian Railroad which provides an outlet to Dairen shall be jointly operated by the establishment of a joint Soviet Chinese Company, it being understood that the pre-eminent interests of the Soviet Union shall be safeguarded and that China shall retain full sovereignty in Manchuria;
3. The Kuril Islands shall be handed over to the Soviet Union.
It is understood that the agreement concerning Outer Mongolia and the ports and railroads referred to above will
require concurrence of Generalissimo Chiang .Kai-shek. The President will take measures in order to obtain this concurrence on advice from Marshal Stalin.
The Heads of the Three Great Powers have agreed that these claims of the Soviet Union shall be unquestionably fulfilled after Japan has been defeated.
For its part the Soviet Union expressed its readiness to conclude with the National Government of China a pact of friendship and alliance between the U.S.S.R and China in order to render assistance to China with its armed forces for the purpose of liberating China from the Japanese yoke.
February 11, 1945
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Winston S. Churchill
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