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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1948. Eastern Europe; The Soviet Union

Finland,   pp. 759-787 PDF (10.6 MB)

Page 759

  760D.61/1-2648: Telegram
  Yhe Ambassador in Sweden (latthews) to the Secretary of State
  SECRET                       STOCKHOLM, January 26, 1948-3 p. m.
    110. I called on Secretary General Beck-Friis this morning and
 asked his impressions concerning happenings in Finland and what they
 portend. He said he had little concrete information but three recent
 developments did cause some anxiety:
    (1) Soviet pressure forcing return of thirty-one Balts (which Beek-
 Friis said was in fact provided in peace treaty); (2) visit of Leino 1
 and wife to Moscow where he presumed important "orders" were
 given; land (3) sudden appointment of General Savonenkov as Soviet
 Minister Helsinki.2 He said Savonenkov had reputation in Finland
 of being very tough and disagreeable while serving as number two to
 Zhdanov on Control Conmission.3
   I asked specifically whether to his knowledge Soviet had yet "in-
 vited" Finns sign military alliance (mytel 106, January 244). He said
 a number of rumors to that effect were circulating but he had no con-
 firmation as yet. While reports are vague it seems clear he said that the
 fquestion was discussed during Pekkala's visit to Moscow.5
   Whether all this foreshadows a definite change in Soviet policy
toward Finland or whether it marks merely a tightening of the screws
preliminary to next summier's Finnish elections he said he did not
know. During his service in Finland the Finns who at first after the
aarmistice were panicky lest they would suffer fate of Baltic states,
subsequently indulged in much speculation 'as to why they were per-
mitted such relative autonomy. They usually concluded he said this-
was due to' their toughness, their basic traditions of law and order
and their belief that their reparations contribution to Soviet economy
  'Yrjo Leino, Finnish Minister of the Interior.
  2Lt. Gen. G. M. Savonenkov presented his credentials to the Finnish Govern-
.ment on January 16, 1948.
  3Andrei Andreyevich Zhdanov; Chairman of the Allied Control Commission
Finland in 1944-4947.
  4Not pAinted.
  5The Finnish Pri'me Minister, Mauno -Pekkala, and the Foreign Minister,
-Enckell, had visited Moscow in November 1947.

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