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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 03, 1945

MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION BETWEEN AVERELL HARRIMAN AND T. V. SOONG, 'FAR EASTERN CONVERSATIONS WITH GENERALISSIMO STALIN'

This document was made possible with support from the Chun & Jane Chiu Family Foundation

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    Harriman reports on Soong and Stalin's July 2 conversation on ports and the issue of Outer Mongolia.
    "Memorandum of Conversation between Averell Harriman and T. V. Soong, 'Far Eastern Conversations with Generalissimo Stalin'," July 03, 1945, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, W. A. Harriman Papers, Library of Congress. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/123408
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Memcon A. Harriman – Soong

TOP SECRET Moscow

Conversation July 3, 1945

Present: W. A. Harriman, American Ambassador

Dr. T. V. Soong

Subject: Far Eastern Conversations with Generalissimo Stalin

One side light on Soong's talk with Stalin July 2 was that Stalin thought the ports would make large profits. Soong tried to explain to Stalin that port facilities were usually operated on a cost basis.

Soong got the impression that Stalin did not place great importance on Port Arthur [Lüshunkou District, Dalian] as a naval base. This might be due to the fact that Soong does not consider it of great naval value because the port has not sufficient depth of water to handle large ships. Stalin wants naval facilities at Dairen [Dalian].

Soong got the impression that Outer Mongolia was the most important question in Stalin's mind. Stalin showed Soong a map and indicated on it the long reaches of the Siberian frontier which were contiguous and emphasized the danger to the Siberian railroad of unfriendly forces operating from Outer Mongolia, specifically Japanese. The balance of the conversation was substantially covered by navy cable of July 3.

Soong told Stalin that he considered Russia was entitled to the southern half of Sakhalin and was glad to learn that Russia would get the Kurile Islands.

WAH