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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 27, 1944


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    Harriman and Stalin discuss Finland and information from the Swedes.
    "PARAPHRASE of Embassy’s telegram No. 2296," June 27, 1944, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Container 173, W. Averell Harriman Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
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PARAPHRASE of Embassy’s telegram No. 2296, June 27, 1944, to the Department of State.


Following telegram is Secret for the Secretary of State.

Reference Department’s telegram No. 1550, June 24.

I had the opportunity last evening after Mr. Johnston withdrew to bring up direct with Marshal Stalin the subject of Finland raised in the telegram under reference.

Stalin said that he did not believe that any action on the part of the United States would be of value at the present time. The controlling members of the Finnish Government, he explained, were agents of Hitler and completely under the domination of the Germans. They had no regard for the interests of the people of Finland. Boheman had approached the Soviet Ambassador in Stockholm at the instigation of the Finns, asking that peace negotiations be resumed. The reply of the Soviet Government had been that, only after a written statement had been received from the Finnish President or Foreign Minister that they were prepared to surrender, would it receive representatives of the Finnish Government. Since that time a week had passed by and no reply had been received.

To my statement that we had heard through the American Charge d’Affaires in Helsinki that there was a possibility of a change in government under the leadership of Ramsay, Stalin replied “These are only rumors." The Swedes, continued Marshal Stalin, having been deceived by the Finns, have misled other people although themselves honest.

Stalin indicated, in response to my further question, that he felt it would be of no avail now to assure either the Finnish Government or the Finnish people that the Soviet Government would not swallow up Finland. He stated at one time in the conversation that it was up to the United States Government and the President to decide what course of action they wished to take respecting Finland. However, it was my impression that Stalin, despite his pessimism, would not resent our giving informal indications to the Finns, if so desired, of our understanding of Soveit [sic] policy vis-à-vis Finnish independence as outlined in the xxxxxxx Department's telegram under reference.

Information as to your decision and any action taken would be appreciated.


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