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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States. Conferences at Malta and Yalta, 1945
(1945)

Introduction,   pp. XI-XX PDF (3.9 MB)


Page XI


                       INTRODUCTION
  In February 1945 President Franklin D. Roosevelt conferred with
Prime Minister Churchill at Malta in the Mediterranean, with Prime
Minister Churchill and Marshal Stalin at Yalta in the Crimea, and
again with Churchill at Alexandria in Egypt. Since these three con.-
ferences were thus closely related chronologically, it was initially
decided to include the documentation of all three conferences in the
present volume. No unpublished documentation could be found,
however, for the Alexandria Conference, which consisted merely of a
private conversation on February 15 between Roosevelt and Churchill.
Apparently no record of this conversation was made either by or for
the President, and no documents were prepared for, or were produced
at, the Alexandria discussion. Accordingly, the present volume is
limited in fact to the conferences at Malta and Yalta.'
  The Malta Conference, which began on January 30 and lasted
through February 2, consisted of a series of discussions designed
primarily to coordinate American and British views on a number of
important problems which were expected to come up with the Russians
at Yalta a few days later. Most of the Malta discussions concerned
military topics and centered around five meetings of the Anglo-
American Combined Chiefs of Staff. The first four of these meetings
were held at Montgomery House, in a suburb of Valletta, while the
fifth, with Roosevelt and Churchill in attendance, was aboard the
U. S. S. Q(uincy. There were also political discussions, one of which
took place aboard H. M. S. Sirius, between Secretary of State Edward
R. Stettinius, Jr., and the British Secretary of State for Foreign
Affairs, Anthony Eden, together with their principal advisers.
  President Roosevelt arrived at Malta on the morning of February 2
and participated during that day in discussions ashore and aboard the
  1 According to the President's Log for February 15, 1945, the conversation
with
Prime Minister Churchill at Alexandria took place aboard the U. S. S. Quincy
from 12:25 to 3:56 p. m., with an interruption for lunch at which the President
was host to seven guests. (For description of the Log, see post, p. 459.)
Fleet
Admiral Leahy says that the luncheon "was a pleasant social gathering
in the
President's cabin and I do not recall that affairs of state intruded into
the conver-
sation" (I Was There, p. 327). The meeting is also mentioned by Churchill
in his
The Second World War, vol. vi, Triumph and Tragedy, p. 397, and by Sherwood
in Roosevelt and Hopkins, p. 872. The only indications of the substance 'of
the
Roosevelt-Churchill conversation at Alexandria appear to be those contained
in a
White House press release dated February 20, 1945 (Department of State Bulletin,
February 25, 1945, vol. xiI, pp. 259-291) and in an address by Churchill
in the
House of Commons on February 27, 1945 (Parliamentary Debates, House of
Commons, 5th ser., vol. 408, cols. 1285-1286). According to these sources
the
conversation dealt with the prosecution of the war against Japan and the
coordi-
nation of Anglo-American policy in Italy.


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