Churchill, Winston, Sir, 1874-1965; Byrnes, James F. (James Francis), 1882-1972; Stalin, Joseph, 1879-1953; Molotov, Vyacheslav Mikhaylovich, 1890-; Hopkins, Harry L. (Harry Lloyd), 1890-1946; Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945; Hull, Cor
World War, 1939-1945; United States-Soviet relations; International relations
Longhand Note of President Harry S. Truman, May 22, 1945. President's Secretary's Files - Longhand Notes.
May 22, 1945
Had a long talk with Joe Davies last night on the Russian situation. Had previously discussed it with him on May 13. He suggested a cable by him to Molotov for Stalin in which he suggested a meeting of Stalin & myself in Alaska or Siberia or on a warship somewhere in that neighborhood.
He'd come over to tell me how blue he was over our deteriorating relations with Russia.
I informed him that at Harriman's suggestion and after a consultation with Hull, Byrnes and one or two others, I'd sent Harry Hopkins to see Stalin with instructions to tell Stalin what my views were and that I'd be pleased to meet him face to face.
Told Davies I'd sent Hopkins because I trusted him and because he had been Roosevelt's messenger to Russia on a previous and similar occasion, that Hopkins was noted an advanced "Liberal" but not a professional one (I consider the latter the lowest form of politician), that he had horse sense and knew how to use it.
I'd previously suggested to Davies on May 13th that he go but his health would not allow it. Anyway as it worked out Hopkins is the best bet from our standpoint and from a political one. Davies suggested that if he could talk with Churchill he could make him see the light he thought. Churchill had been importuning me to urge Stalin to come to a meeting. But Churchill wanted me to meet with him first-which I do not want to do. Stalin already has an opinion we're ganging up on him.
To have a reasonably lasting peace the three great powers must be able to trust each other and they must themselves honestly want it. They must also have the confidence of the smaller nations. Russia hasn't the confidence of the small nations, nor has Britain. We have. I want peace and I'm willing to fight for it. It is my opinion we'll get it.
I suggested to Davies after he'd said he could talk to Churchill that he go and do it-if his physical condition would stand it. Seems a pity that our three ablest foreign relations men should now be old and physically incapacitated-Hull-Davies-Hopkins. Davies said he'd go to London.
So I've sent Hopkins to Moscow and Davies to London. We shall see what we shall see. Davies has the Order of Lenin-just conferred. He's an economic royalist-"ain't that sompin'."
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