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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States : diplomatic papers : the Conference of Berlin (the Potsdam Conference), 1945
(1945)

Initial correspondence concerning a tripartite conference,   pp. 3-20 PDF (5.6 MB)


Page 4


GENESIS OF THE CONFERENCE
occupy both armies in collecting the prisoners during the next few
days, and we may hope that the VE celebration will also occupy the
public mind at home. Thereafter I feel that we must most earnestly
consider our attitude towards the Soviets and show them how much
we have to offer or withhold.
                               No. 2
Truman Papers: Telegram
           President Truman to Prime Minister Churchill 1
TOP SECRET                             [WASHINGTON,] 9 May 1945.
  31. Your messages 34 2 and 35.3
  I am in agreement with your opinion that a meeting of the three
heads of government would be desirable in order to get action on the
questions of interest to the three governments upon which either a
decision or a common understanding have not been reached.
  I very much prefer to have the request for such a tripartite meet-
ing originate from Marshal Stalin and not from either one of us.
Perhaps you have means of some kind with which to endeavor to
induce Stalin to suggest or request such a meeting.
  In the meantime it is my present intention to adhere to our inter-
pretation of the Yalta agreements,4 and to stand firmly on our present
announced attitude toward all the questions at issue.
  In order to prepare for a possible tripartite meeting in the not
listant future, I would be very pleased to have from you a list of the
questions that you consider it necessary or desirable for us to bring
up for discussion, and also suggestions as to meeting places.
  There should now be no valid excuse for Stalin's refusing to come
west toward us.
  In regard to timing, it will be extremely difficult for me to absent
myself from Washington before the end of the fiscal year (30 June),
but I probably will be able to get away after that date.
1 Presumably sent to the United States Naval Attach6, London, via Navy
channels. Text communicated to the Secretary of State by Leahy in a mem-
orandum of May 9 (file No. 860c.01/5-945).
2 Document No. 1.
3 Not printed herein. See Churchill, Triumph and Tragedy, p. 499.
4 See vol. ii, documents Nos. 1416 and 1417.
4
I I.


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