May 2, 1945
Memorandum by Sir Orme Sargent, Deputy Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, to Winston Churchill
Memorandum by Sir Orme Sargent,
Deputy Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office,
to Winston Churchill, 2 May 1945
It has occurred to us in the Foreign Office that a possible explanation of the hardening of the Soviet attitude towards us on so many outstanding questions just now may be due to the influence of the victorious Soviet Marshals.
2. Hitherto it has been our experience that Marshal Stalin tends to take a broad and statesmanlike line on matters put to him directly. Thus he was personally responsible for the decision to send Molotov to San Francisco on President Roosevelt's death. He was also responsible for the invitation conveyed to Harriman for the Allied representatives to visit Vienna to settle matters on the spot. Again his attitude over the Polish question, both in Moscow last autumn and at Yalta, was comparatively cooperative, though Molotov was more obstructive. But in each case there has been a subsequent hardening due apparently to some mysterious influence. This may come either from the party bosses behind the scenes or from the Soviet Generals.
3. In the case of Poland and Austria it is tempting to connect this with the victorious Marshals who are over-running these countries and insisting that they will not have British and Americans nosing about in their preserves nor allow local governments to be set up which are not thoroughly under their own control.
Sir Orme Sargent suggests that the recent Soviet hardening towards Great Britain is due to the influence of Stalin's ministers; connects chilled relations with situation in Austria and Poland.
The History and Public Policy Program welcomes reuse of Digital Archive materials for research and educational purposes. Some documents may be subject to copyright, which is retained by the rights holders in accordance with US and international copyright laws. When possible, rights holders have been contacted for permission to reproduce their materials.
To enquire about this document's rights status or request permission for commercial use, please contact the History and Public Policy Program at [email protected].