Roosevelt Myth - John T. Flynn




The Great Conferences

When a nation is at war, its leaders are compelled by the necessities of practical administration to use every means at hand to sell the war to the people who must fight it and pay for it. As part of that job it is usual to include the leader himself in the package. He is therefore portrayed in heroic proportions and colors in order to command for his leadership the fullest measure of unity.

War, as we have seen, puts into the hands of a leader control over the instruments of propaganda and opinion on an ever-increasing scale. In our day the press, the radio, the movies, even the schoolroom and the pulpit are mobilized to justify the war, to magnify the leader and to intimidate his critics. The citizen who is hardy enough to question the official version of the leader and his policies may find himself labeled as a public enemy or even as a traitor.

Hence as the war proceeds, amidst all the trappings which the art of the theater can contribute, it is possible to build up a vast fraud, with an ever-mounting torrent of false news, false pictures, false eulogies and false history. After every war many years are required to reduce its great figures to their just proportions and to bring the whole pretentious legend back into focus with truth.

Perhaps no other American war leader was ever exhibited, during a war, upon so heroic a scale as Franklin D. Roosevelt. Why this was so and how it was done forms a separate story. But here we are concerned with presenting the record of his achievements in the field of war-time statecraft, rescued from the deformities of propaganda and corrected to correspond with the facts.

The story of Mr. Roosevelt's management of our relations with our allies and our enemies was unfolded to us during the war in a series of great conferences arranged with the most minute attention to their theatrical effects. Like the historic meetings of Henry VIII and Francis on the field of the Cloth of Gold or of Napoleon and Czar Alexander on a barge at Tilsit in the Niemen River or the massing of the monarchs and their ministers at Paris after Waterloo or the Big Four at Versailles, the public was treated to the royal spectacles off the coast of Newfoundland aboard the Augusta, at Quebec, Casablanca, Moscow, Cairo, Teheran and finally at Yalta.

Eloquent communiques pretended to inform the people of what had been agreed on. And after each such meeting the press and radio rang with the story of the great triumphs of the President, who brought victory after victory back to his people as the reward of the great battles that were being fought in various parts of the world.

We now know that these communiques told us little of what had happened; that the whole story lay, for long, behind a great curtain of secrecy; that much—though not all—has now been painfully brought to light and that what stands revealed is a story very different from that heroic chronicle of triumphs with which we were regaled at the time.

It was while France, Norway and the Low Countries were occupied, while Britain was under attack from the air and Hitler was driving through Russia in 1941 that we formally entered the war with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. What, then, were out objectives? The first objective was to defeat the enemy in the field.

But victory in war is not like victory in a prize fight. It does not consist in merely flooring your antagonist for the count. After the enemy is forced to surrender there comes the always difficult task of translating the knock-out of the enemy into the achievement of those objectives for which we wished to knock him down.

In this case we were not alone in the struggle. We had allies. Each of these allies had his own special ambitions. A complete victory over the enemies would mean the liberation of all the occupied countries. And those countries too had their special ambitions, while our own allies had very special designs of their own with respect to the liberated victims. We had our own great objectives. We fought to drive the aggressors from the lands of these victims; but also for an arrangement of the post-war world that would ensure a peaceful world and, of course, a world safe for democratic peoples to live in.

In World War I the victory was poisoned by the fact that, having defeated the aggressions of the Kaiser's Germany, the victors proceeded to satisfy their own aggressive ambitions in a manner to reduce to nothing the lofty proclamations before victory. Thus Mr.

Roosevelt had on his hands not merely a war of weapons with our enemies in the field, but a contest in diplomacy with our allies about the fruits of victory. We shall now see him as he moved from "triumph to triumph" in his bouts with our allies.

We have already seen how at the meeting in Placenta Bay the President and Mr. Churchill agreed upon a set of principles to govern the peace and which came to be known as the Atlantic Charter. These assurances to the world were:

  • First, their countries seek no aggrandizement, territorial or otherwise.
  • Second, they desire to see no territorial changes that do not accord with the freely expressed desires of the peoples concerned.
  • Third, they respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live; and they wish to see sovereign rights and self-government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them.

Both the President and Mr. Churchill subsequently repeated these assurances in various private audiences with the representatives of those nations, as well as in glowing oratorical pronouncements on their grandiose aims for the world. After America's participation in the war had been under way for some time the question of the collaboration of our allies in these great plans for the future had to be dealt with and accordingly the first of that succession of conferences was arranged.

I. MOMENTOUS DECISION

On June 19, 1942, Winston Churchill arrived in Washington for a momentous conference with the President. What happened at that conference remained a secret until revealed recently by various persons involved in it.

The top-ranking military and naval leaders in America favored from the beginning of their planning a cross-channel invasion of France at the earliest moment. The President, however, was "charmed" by a Mediterranean adventure. So was Churchill, but of a very different type. Secretary Stimson says that the Army's plan was for an operation called BOLERO—an invasion of France in 1943, with a proviso that in the event pressure on Russia became critical, a beachhead invasion of France in 1942 (called Sledgehammer) be undertaken. By April, 1942, Roosevelt approved the plan for 1943 and sent Hopkins and Marshall to London to sell it to Churchill, which they did.

On June 3, 1942, Lord Louis Mountbatten appeared as a White House guest. He spent much time with the President throwing cold water on BOLERO. Suddenly on June 17, the President summoned Stimson and Marshall. Roosevelt wanted to reopen his plan for an invasion of North Africa called GYMNAST. Marshall was primed with elaborate data and seemed to talk the President out of it for the moment. On June 19, Churchill arrived, informed as he was by Mountbatten, that Roosevelt was weakening on BOLERO.

On June 21, there was what Stimson described as a "big pow-wow and fuss" at the White House. Churchill was there. Roosevelt hastily summoned Stimson, Marshall and other top-ranking military and naval men. Churchill agreed there must be an attack in 1943 but insisted on a Mediterranean and Balkan plan. Churchill, says Stimson, insisted Germany could be defeated by a series of attritions in Northern Italy, the Eastern Mediterranean, Greece, Balkans, Rumania and other satellite countries—then satellites of Hitler, now satellites of Stalin. Marshall took with him Colonel Al Wedemeyer of the War Plans Division, who was working on plans for the 1943 invasion. Wedemeyer presented the case against the Balkan invasion in 1943 so powerfully he convinced everyone, including Churchill, it was too hazardous. Operation BOLERO (1943 invasion of France), Operation GYMNAST (invasion of North Africa) and Churchill's plans were reviewed. Roosevelt stood by BOLERO, Churchill assented, the conference ended and Churchill went home.

Less than a month later, Stimson and Marshall learned that the British again were questioning BOLERO. Marshall was so outraged that he proposed to Stimson that the English be told flatly that as they "won't go through with what they agreed to, we will turn our backs on them and take up the war with Japan." Stimson agreed but merely as a bluff to bring the English around. The President assured them he "was sound on BOLERO." But Stimson felt he was still nursing a lingering preference for the North African operation.

Marshall, King and Hopkins were sent to London to decide on the strategy for 1943. The upshot of that was that Roosevelt's pet plan, GYMNAST (a North African invasion) was adopted. It was rechristened TORCH. It meant the end of BOLERO (a 1943 cross-channel invasion). The North African project would consume so much materiel that a French invasion in 1943 would be impossible.

The 1943 French invasion was the "baby of the American War Department, approved by all its top-ranking generals and planners." Actually the British professional military staff in Washington also agreed to it. In turning to his own pet scheme—the North African invasion—and thus making the 1943 invasion of France impossible, Roosevelt acted against the advice of all his military and naval leaders.

The invasion of Europe was put off for another year—until 1944. Had it been carried through in 1943 as the military men demanded, the British and American forces would have had a full year longer to batter their way across France, into Germany and all Western Europe, including the satellite states—to take large areas Stalin was later to take. There would have been no divided Germany, no divided Poland. Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary and perhaps large parts of the Balkans would never have fallen into the clutches of Russia. The one chance of avoiding all those terrible conditions in Eastern Europe which later bedeviled us was thrown away. Either Churchill's Balkan proposals or Marshall's and Stimson's 1943 project might have accomplished this.

Roosevelt's pet scheme of GYMNAST, which Churchill seized on as a means of defeating the 1943 invasion, ended any hope of seeing a victory map of Europe favorable to the ideas we were fighting for. Any statesman looking realistically into the future would have known what Russia's intentions were. The evidence was overwhelming. It was presented frequently by men who were rewarded for their pains with the smear of being fascists and Hitlerites. But Roosevelt had taken that incredible line of opinion and policy about Stalin which resulted in ruling out of his calculations the tremendous political consequences of a Russian victory before the Allies could liberate the conquered countries.

2. ROOSEVELT'S GREAT DESIGN AND CASABLANCA

It was January, 1943—at Casablanca—before the first great conference of the Big Three was set. Then it turned out to be a conference of the Big Two. Stalin refused to appear. And behind this lies a story which explains in a general way all that follows.

On September 24, 1941, a month after the Atlantic Charter was proclaimed, an inter-allied meeting was held in St. James Palace. Mr. Maisky, the Soviet Ambassador to Great Britain, said:

"The Soviet was and is guided in its foreign policy by the principle of the self-determination of nations. Accordingly the Soviet defends the right of every nation to the independence and territorial integrity of its country and its right to establish such a social order as it deems opportune and necessary for the promotion of its economic and cultural prosperity."

He then proclaimed Russia's agreement with the declaration of the Atlantic Charter.

Could anything be plainer? Yet surely Roosevelt must have reflected that in September, 1939, Stalin made a pact with Hitler under which he was given eastern Poland as the price of his perfidy. Our State Department knew that Soviet Russia had never ceased to assert her claim to these countries. Not long before the signing of the pact in London adhering to the Atlantic Charter, Anthony Eden had been in Moscow where he was confronted with a proposed Soviet-British-American agreement recognizing Russia's claims to the Baltic states, Finland and the eastern half of Poland.

Assistant Secretary of State Berle knew of it and suggested it would be difficult for the small states to withstand the inevitable expansion of a great power after the war. The President himself admitted that the British government had approached him on the subject of Russia's claims on the Baltic states. Ambassador Halifax suggested to the Polish Ambassador in Washington that Russia "was not bluffing" and posed some arguments in support of her claims. Our Ambassador in London, Winant, was impressed with the reasonableness of the Russian claims. Actually the British and Russians signed a treaty in May, 1942, and Secretary of State Hull told the Polish Ambassador, Jan Ciechanowski, that up to the last minute the concessions to Russia were included but were taken out at his insistence.

The Polish Premier, Sikorski, visited America and talked with Roosevelt. He told the President he feared the British would yield to Russia. Roosevelt said to him: "I want you to understand, General, that the American government has not forgotten the Atlantic Charter." The situation was saved for the moment. But the point I am trying to make clear is that Roosevelt was fully informed of the ambitions that Russia was pressing so vigorously before the ink was dry on her explicit adoption of the Atlantic Charter.

Roosevelt must have known that Russia continued to plan to carry out her intentions. Already she had organized in Russia a collection of Red Polish expatriates as the foundation of that phony Lublin government which she ultimately set up over Poland. And in February, 1942 a score of American writers had published a statement supporting the claims Russia was making to these menaced countries.

The truth is that what Russia wanted was as plain as the mustache on Stalin's face. More than one American observer pointed out these aims. Early in the Spring of 1943, Demaree Bess, in the Saturday Evening Post, wrote a very clear prospectus of what Russia wanted. There had been a lot of foggy talk about the "great Russian mystery" and "Stalin, the Great Enigma." Bess pointed out what was perfectly obvious, that there was no enigma about Stalin and Russia. He confirmed the story that soon after being attacked the Russians revealed to the British their claims upon Poland and parts of Rumania. Sir Stafford Cripps and the conservative London Times both advocated their acceptance. And while, under pressure from Hull, the grant of these claims was omitted from the 1942 treaty between Britain and Russia, Russia never abandoned these claims. Bess wrote:

"Since they (the Russians) have made their desires so clear in negotiations with the Germans and later with the British, nobody has any right to be surprised if the Russians move again into all the territories they occupied in 1939 and 1940 and incorporate them into the Soviet Union."

As to the war in the Pacific, Bess wrote:

"It is clear that war in Europe will end before war in the Pacific. Russia will be at peace while we are still fighting. Is it likely she will enter the Pacific war? Why should she? Russia wants the defeat of Japan. But the United States will do that job. Stalin has shown that he does not involve his country in unnecessary wars. If they want any territories in the Far East they can come into the war whenever they like and take over any territories they desire as their share of the spoils." Russia, he said, "makes no pledges, demands a free hand in the post-war settlements in territories adjoining her borders and a full and equal partnership in world affairs when peace comes."

A man took the risk of being called a fascist for making such statements in 1943.

Against all this what was Roosevelt's plan? We need be in no doubt about that. First of all, he had set up in his mind an objective which he called his "Great Design." Forrest Davis, writing in the Saturday Evening Post an obviously White House-inspired article, described it. This Great Design was a union of the nations of the world in a great organization for peace at the end of the war. He would bring into being a United Nations. It would be modeled on our own inter-American system—a loose and flexible association without any surrender of sovereignty. It would have no police force of its own to enforce its authority but would depend on the air forces of its powerful partners. It would have to include Russia, and, to bring Russia in, she and all countries would have to submerge their ideological differences, subdue their racial grievances, their ancient ambitions and collaborate loyally with all other nations in the reorganization of Europe. And of course at the bottom of this association would be the principles of the Atlantic Charter.

And at the very center of this "Great Design" was Roosevelt's belief that he could bring Stalin in as a sincere and willing collaborator in the post-war settlements. As he saw it, Stalin was his great target. He began by completely deceiving himself about Stalin. First of all, he decided he must cultivate Stalin's good will and to do this he convinced himself he must sell Stalin to our people. Accordingly the instruments of propaganda which he could influence—the radio and the movies and to a considerable degree, the press—were set to work upon the great task.

Under the influence of this benevolent atmosphere the Reds in New York and their compliant dupes, the fellow-travelers, swarmed into Washington and presently were sitting in positions of power or influence in the policy-making sections of the government. Joe Davies had been induced to go to Moscow, wrote his notorious "Mission to Moscow," a jumble of obvious fictions which were later transferred to the screen several times exaggerated and shot into millions of minds in movie houses. Commentators on the air—some outright Reds, some Reds at heart, some shallow tools of the Reds poured out the propaganda for Red objectives seven days a week, 24 hours a day while the time on the air plus their own princely salaries were paid by the most conservative business houses of America—often induced to hire these Russian tools to please a government that exercised tremendous power over their affairs.

Let me repeat that, under the influence of the propaganda he had promoted, and reinforced by his own eagerness to please Stalin, no one in the country was more thoroughly deceived by it than Roosevelt himself.

As soon as Russia was invaded Roosevelt sent Harry Hopkins to visit Stalin and to learn what he wanted. Averill Harriman, an agreeable but not too sagacious emissary, was sent to Stalin as American Ambassador. Hopkins made several visits. Roosevelt boasted that "Harry and Uncle Joe got on like a house afire. They have become buddies." Hopkins said it was ridiculous to think of Stalin as a Communist. He was a Russian nationalist. Harriman told various persons that Stalin was not at all a revolutionary Communist but just a Russian nationalist. He told the Polish Ambassador that not once in his conversations with Stalin did he indicate that the old Leninist policy of world revolution was still the aim of Stalinist Russia. Both of them, Hopkins and Harriman, plus Joe Davies, were completely taken in and they in turn passed on their deceptions to Roosevelt, who swallowed them without salt. He, too, assured visitors that Stalin was not a Communist at all but just a real Russian patriot.

Having satisfied himself on this point, Roosevelt decided he would force a meeting with Stalin, convince him of his own friendship, turn upon Stalin his disarming smile and break down with his famous charm the cold realism of that hard-bitten old tyrant. The notion that he could talk Stalin out of the age-old aims of the Russian government by turning on him his charming manner seems now, to say the least, a little naive.

The moment came, however, when he hoped he would get Stalin to expose himself to his seductions. In January, Roosevelt and Churchill agreed to meet with their respective military advisers at Casablanca. Not until just before they got to Casablanca were they sure Stalin would not appear. When Elliott Roosevelt arrived the first question to his father was: "Is he coming?" Later Roosevelt said: "I have tried five times to see that man and he has always eluded me."

Stalin did not elude Roosevelt because he feared to face his charm. It was his inflexible purpose not to make any commitments to anyone. He pursued a relentless line of demands upon Roosevelt and Churchill. He wanted that second front. He said he was fighting Hitler alone, Russia was throwing millions into the battles; the Allies were merely promising. When would they make good? He wanted allied armies in France and he wanted lend-lease and more lend-lease. He kept the American military mission in a state of continuous apology and explanation. When Molotov or any other Russian was questioned about Poland and the Baltic states and the war, he simply said he had no authority to talk about them. And Uncle Joe, as Roosevelt always referred to him, refused to show up.

Meanwhile time was running against Roosevelt. He deferred every other effort in favor of his hope to meet Stalin personally and talk him into his "Great Design"—his One World with its arrangement for perpetual peace. It was January, 1943, when Churchill and Roosevelt met at Casablanca. Two full years had been wasted, instead of applying to Stalin the only pressure he could understand. All he could hope for in arms and material aid he got as fast as we could get them to him without laying down a single condition. Now the Russian armies were pushing the invaders back. Roosevelt's hands were weakened and Stalin's were strengthened. So at Casablanca, Roosevelt and Churchill discussed getting more goods and aid to Russia without any conditions. They discussed the rift between De Gaulle and General Giraud and settled it by getting them to shake hands before the camera. There was a great theatrical display and when the conference ended the President sailed for Dakar in Africa and then to Brazil where he and Vargas put on a Roman display to the huzzas of the people.

3. FIRST QUEBEC CONFERENCE

Once again the leaders met to confer. This time it was August 17, 1943 at Quebec and once again it was the Big Two and not the Big Three. Once again the great war spectacle went into action clouds of planes, fleets of ships, a huge cast of brass. Churchill and Roosevelt and their foreign ministers, Eden and Hull, were there. So was Harry Hopkins.

This conference had been originally scheduled to meet at Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron with Stalin in the party. But Stalin was too busy managing his war. Besides, as Churchill observed, Stalin had nothing to say to these men but one thing—second front! There was the big front in Italy and the tremendous war from the air on Germany. But Stalin did not admit that the bombing of Germany from London or the Italian drive were second fronts. Some of his under-strappers became actually offensive. And as for conferences, he was too busy managing his great armies in Russia. Moreover the tide was running his way. The Russians were driving the Germans before them now. And all that Stalin wanted was allied soldiers in France, and guns, tanks, planes, munitions for his own armies. The latter he got in vast quantities without any conditions being annexed to the grants.

At this time Italy was prostrate. Mussolini had quit and fled to the North. Badoglio was made chief of the ramshackle remnants of the Italian state. Crowds in the streets of Rome were crying for peace. Italian surrender would have come sooner but for the policy of "unconditional surrender" adopted by Roosevelt and Churchill.

The beaten and terrified Italian leaders feared to surrender unconditionally not knowing what their own fate would be because of the dire prophecies of punishment for all the guilty collaborators in the Nazi aggression. Thus the Italian war dragged on, adding to the death toll of Italian and American soldiers every day surrender was postponed. Italy did actually surrender on September 8.

The Italian debacle had altered materially the face of things in Europe. Now that Italy was beaten, Churchill came forward again with his plans for a Balkan invasion. The military obstacles that were truly great while Italy was in the war were now immensely reduced. Churchill believed an allied invasion could be made through Yugoslavia. But Stalin was as much as ever opposed to such an adventure and he had been making this opposition known vehemently. Roosevelt was determined to do nothing to displease Stalin. The moment was near at hand, he hoped, to bring that gentleman across the table from him and to induce him to discard his ruthless ambitions in east Europe and to come peacefully into the "Great Design."

It has been reported that Churchill at Quebec sought to convince Roosevelt to take a more realistic line with Stalin, but without effect. Indeed by this time, as we shall see, the mere project of a meeting with Stalin had become a kind of objective in itself, for which Roosevelt seemed willing to risk the most important considerations. He had now persuaded the Russian leader to agree to a conference of the foreign ministers. In fact, Hull and Eden, while at Quebec, were making arrangements to go to Moscow to meet Molotov. Roosevelt was expecting great things from this prologue to the ultimate grand conclave of the Big Three where he would pin Stalin down,

4. HULL'S GREAT TRIUMPH AT MOSCOW

The next act in this great tragi-comedy was Mr. Hull's conference in Moscow. Hull, Molotov and Eden sat down together and talked about some pressing matters. Nothing was known of what occurred until Mr. Hull returned. And when on November 10, 1943 he came back to Washington, it was as a conquering hero. The newspapers broke out in a lurid rash of headlines proclaiming his magnificent success, "HULL RETURNING IN TRIUMPH FINDS PRESIDENT AT AIRPORT" was the New York Times headline. "The whole welcome had the air of a triumphal return which indeed it was," ran the Times* story. Senator Byrd said "Secretary Hull has achieved a diplomatic triumph almost beyond belief."

On November 18, 1943, amid an elaborately arranged appearance before a joint session of the Congress, the Secretary told of his meeting with Molotov and Eden. Russia, Britain and the United States had pledged themselves to prosecute the war to a successful conclusion. They recognized the necessity of establishing an international organization. They agreed to consult with each other until this was done. They agreed further that after hostilities they would not use their military forces in other states except after joint consultation.

All this, as we now know, was pure show. There had been no triumph. It was a deliberate deception of the American people and they, along with Congress, were thoroughly taken in by it. No mention had been made of the only really controversial question that had intruded itself on this unequal contest of men in Moscow. That was the question concerning those countries in eastern Europe, particularly Poland, whose fate, should Russia occupy them, was a subject of grave concern.

It was also a subject of grave political concern to Mr. Roosevelt who by this time was thinking in terms of 1944 and his ambition to be elected for a fourth term. The votes of American citizens of Polish birth and descent, to say nothing of great numbers of Lithuanians, Greeks and peoples of other Balkan ancestries who had supported him were a matter of very immediate importance. As we have seen, these votes are powerful altogether out of proportion to their numbers because they are centered in a number of great industrial areas where they can, in certain circumstances, hold the balance of power when they act in unity. By this time the Russian armies had forced the Germans back to the banks of the Dnieper. Hitler was still in possession of the Baltic states, all of the Balkans and of Poland. But it was evident that the time was not far distant when Stalin's generals would approach the Baltic and Polish borders. American Poles and Baltic peoples were nervous about Stalin's intentions in these menaced lands.

The day before Hull had left for Moscow he had sent for Mr. Ciechanowski, the Polish Ambassador. He wanted an exchange of views with the Ambassador. The Ambassador told him the Polish government wanted some arrangement that would protect Poland against the danger when Russian armies should occupy their country. It felt that as soon as the Russians entered Poland, the Polish government-in-exile in London should be brought back to Warsaw. The Polish army and government should occupy Poland and continue to collaborate with the Russians. Mr. Ciechanowski appealed to Mr. Hull for a guarantee by the United States and Britain of Polish territorial integrity and independence.

Hull agreed with this. He shared the Ambassador's apprehensions about Russia's plans. The Ambassador warned him against the wiles of Russian diplomacy. But the aged Secretary smiled and said he was not likely to be taken in by such methods. In bidding the Ambassador good-bye, Hull assured him "he was decided to defend the cause of Poland as he would defend the cause of his own country." Actually, Hull was a sick man. He told friends that, in the last analysis, despite his poor health and the difficulties of the voyage, it was the Polish question which had decided him to make the trip. He declared he felt "he had to defend Poland to the death."

When Hull returned to Washington it was natural that the Polish Ambassador should be eager to know what had happened. Presently whisperings were heard around the State Department that Hull had to make some serious sacrifices at Moscow. Some White House officials told the Ambassador that the account of Mr. Hull's triumph was much exaggerated. He learned that Harry Hopkins had said to a friend that "we are prostrate about the Moscow conference." Ciechanowski sought him out and Hopkins confirmed it. Then why all the enthusiasm about the conference? Ciechanowski put that question to Hopkins. "Perhaps," he answered, "we want to show the Soviets we harbor no suspicions of their conduct." There were other rumors that Poland and the Baltic states had been sacrificed at Moscow.

But Hull kept himself incommunicado until he addressed Congress. The next day he received the Polish Ambassador. Then he talked with the air of a man who felt explanations were needed. He said he found himself in an unfamiliar setting. He had to discuss a lot of problems with a partner—Molotov—who was, to say the least, difficult. Besides he did not know him very well. He felt he had to create a favorable atmosphere and he had done that. He had gone to Moscow feeling that his "main aim was to bring about the establishment of Soviet-Polish relations." In talking with Molotov he had tried to impress that on him. He admitted that he got nowhere with Molotov, who would not even discuss the matter unless the Poles were ready to acknowledge territorial changes. The Soviets were taking advantage of their military position and regarded the subject as solved in their favor. Then came the truth. He had not even discussed the subject. The Russians wouldn't even talk about it. Mr. Ciechanowski reported that Hull "faced with the choice of forcing the discussion or putting it off to future meetings, he thought it more judicious to take the latter course." Such was his triumph.

Mr. Ciechanowski asked the Secretary point-blank if the optimism that had been spread in Washington was justified. Hull replied that his effort at initiating a good understanding had been successful but "he certainly didn't think anyone could draw optimistic conclusions from it." And then this aged, tired and ailing old man who had been exploited perhaps without his full consent as the hero of a great diplomatic victory, said pathetically that "he had tried to take the Soviets by the hand and lead them along the way to understanding."

What did Stalin think when Molotov had sent Hull away empty-handed and then witnessed the American President and Congress celebrating the incident as a great triumph? He knew now he was dealing with weak partners who could be pushed around at will.

The conference concerned itself with military matters also and Major General John R. Deane, head of the American military mission, was there with a staff. Fortunately, General Deane is undoubtedly a man with a sense of humor and we owe to him much of what we know about the caviar and vodka aspects of the great Russian conferences. This one opened with a luncheon. Around the board sat the gentlemen who were, when the feast ended, to sit around another board to discuss some of the gravest issues affecting the destiny of the world. On the vast table were bottles of vodka, wines, liqueurs in profusion. Then came a succession of courses, borsch, fish, roasts and so on. Before the borsch was down, Molotov was up with his glass and a toast. Then followed a succession of toasts in which the eminent statesmen toasted Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt and then each other and then almost everyone at the table, together with such abstract ideas as Peace and Justice and Victory. They drank bottoms up. The liqueurs flowed, the good cheer rose, the eloquence glowed. General Deane frankly confesses in his entertaining book that at the end he was goggle-eyed and that old Mother Russia, as he beheld her through vodka-tinted glasses, presented a very rosy picture.

From this feast, loaded with victuals and vodka, the remodelers of the new world rose around four in the afternoon and walked across the hall to the conference room, where around another board they assembled to begin their deliberations. Hull and Eden and Molotov were there, plus Vishinsky, the famous purge prosecutor, Marshal Voroshiloff and the numerous staffs of all the ministers. Hull, however, being ill, did not attend any of the feasts. Russia had one question—second front. General Deane, gradually emerging from the warm fumes of the vodka, armed with maps and charts, answered the question. The second front would be, as Stalin wished it, through France. It had been fixed for a somewhat earlier day but had had to be put off. He described in realistic terms the effects of the strafing of Germany. The whole discussion, he writes, began in an atmosphere of suspicion, but he had photographs to prove his points and the Russians were satisfied. But when is the second front coming? In the Spring. Yes, but when in the Spring? Finally the General said in May. This finally suited the Russians.

When the whole conference ended there was a banquet given by Stalin—a gargantuan feast that made the first luncheon look like a slight barroom snack. There was one incident which must not be overlooked. At one point General Deane was called to rise, drink bottoms up and deliver his toast He did. To his amazement, Stalin left his chair, walked around the diners to the General who, glowing with vodka, beheld himself standing face to face with the most famous man in the world, clinking glasses with him and receiving his approval in a rumble of Slavic gutterals. The General, speaking of the whole affair later, had to allow that Uncle Joe was a very nice fellow.

As we work through the numerous eye-witness accounts of these Russian affairs we will find that one after another of our American agents who went to Moscow went through the same exhilarating experience as the General. They beheld themselves standing clinking glasses with the mighty Dictator of all the Russians. He even put his arm around some of them. It was too much for them. With the steam of the vodka in their brains and the hand of the dictator on their shoulder, they one and all had to confess that Uncle Joe was a swell guy.

As Hull set out for home, Roosevelt was making ready for his journey to the next conference, which was scheduled for Cairo between himself, Churchill and Chiang Kai-shek. When Hull got home he had one thing to report to Roosevelt which the President looked upon as a real victory. Hull had made an appointment—at least a tentative one—for Stalin to meet Roosevelt and Churchill at Teheran in Iran, following the Cairo meeting. This was great news to the President. He would get the Russian dictator across the table from him at last.

5. CAIRO AND TEHERAN

A. CAIRO—President Roosevelt left for Cairo in November, 1943. He was still not sure he would meet Stalin. He told his Secret Service guard, Mike Reilly, that he was going to Cairo and "hoped" to meet Stalin at Teheran. He left on the battleship Iowa for Oran and went from there to Cairo by plane. He was accompanied by General Eisenhower, Admiral Leahy, Admiral McIntire, Harry Hopkins and a considerable staff. At Cairo the numerous British and American staffs were quartered in various hotels and villas outside Cairo around the site of the Pyramids. Roosevelt took up his quarters in the villa of the American Ambassador. At the time allied armies were moving on Rome. Allied production of planes, ships, guns, tanks was reaching its peak. And Roosevelt was greatly relieved when Andrei Vishinsky called on him at Ambassador Kirk's to say that Marshal Stalin would leave his troops for a few days to be with Roosevelt and Churchill at Teheran.

At Cairo, Roosevelt and Churchill met General and Madame Chiang Kai-shek. As Stalin had an alliance with Japan and was not at war with her, he was not asked to Cairo. The conference between Roosevelt and Chiang lasted from November 22 to 26. When it ended the inevitable communique announced that they had agreed upon military plans against Japan with increasing pressure and without desire for territorial expansion, which was not news. More to the point was the announced agreement to strip Japan of all the territories and islands in the Pacific which she had conquered or occupied in World Wars I and II, to drive her out of the vast provinces she had stolen from China, to restore freedom and independence to Korea and to force Japan to unconditional surrender.

As always, the important things were not disclosed. Roosevelt told his son, Elliott, that Chiang had not been fighting the Japs seriously but instead was using his armies to fight the Chinese Communist army. Here we must note that the real nature of the aggression of Japan in China was never made clear to the American people. It was in fact intentionally obscured. The Japanese did not fight China in order to seize all China. They wanted Manchuria in the North. Manchuria is the great storehouse of natural resources in China. It was Chinese. Japan wanted those resources and her purpose was to set up there the kind of government Stalin would later set up in Yugoslavia and Poland. It is important to keep in mind that there never was a time when China could not have made peace with Japan by agreeing to let Manchuria go, to be ruled by a Manchurian puppet of Japan.

However, Russia also wanted Manchuria. She did not want to incorporate this rich province into Russia. She wanted to do what Japan wanted to do. She wanted a Communist puppet government there. She wanted to assist in its conquest by Chinese Communists just as Yugoslavia was conquered by Yugoslavian Communists under Tito, a puppet of Stalin. For a long time these Chinese Communist armies under Mao-Tse and Chu-Teh had been pushing their Red army toward Manchuria poised to enter and seize it the moment the Japanese were driven out. In fact, they wished to perform the service of driving them out and occupying Manchuria.

Chiang, of course, was as much opposed to this as he was to the Japanese aggression. And for an obvious reason. Chiang was using all his military power to defeat these Communist armies. What would he gain by driving the Japanese out of Manchuria merely to open it to the Communists? But what we denounced in Japan as a heinous aggression, our government was willing to condone in Russia.

At this time we were selling Russia on a grand scale to the American people. Russian agents and sympathizers, native and foreign, had inserted themselves into all of the instruments of propaganda, where they kept up a steady offensive against the minds of the American people. At this moment what they wanted was to compel Chiang to stop fighting the Communists and to take them in fact into his own government, where, with our aid and Russia's, they would soon perform on Chiang the same job that Tito performed on Mikhailovitch and that the Polish "Committee of Liberation" performed on Sikorski and Mikolajczyk. All this they compressed into one of those fatal sloganized arguments with which, during the war, they did such terrible work upon our minds. They called it "Unity in China."

The glorious achievements of Mao-Tse and Chu-Teh were sounded daily in radio commentaries. Edgar Snow, in the Saturday Evening Post, praised the work of the Communist army which he presented under the euphemistic name of the Partisan army, which fell easier upon American ears. What Stalin wanted and what Mr. Snow and those of his school wanted in China was inadvertently given away in that article in the following sentences:

"The situation in China is somewhat similar to that in Yugoslavia, with the Chinese Partisans led by General Chu-Teh and Mao-Tse-Tung corresponding to Marshal Tito and his following and the policy of Chungking being the same which Mikhailovitch and King Peter tried to enforce toward Yugoslav guerillas.

"In Yugoslavia, we and the British now actively aid Tito, simply because his forces actively fight the Axis, but in Asia we have so far given no official recognition to the Chu-Mao armies, which offer the only armed opposition to the Japanese in North China."

And so Roosevelt secretly demanded of Chiang Kai-shek that he take the Communists into his government, quit opposition to the Communist army which might then take Manchuria for the benefit of Stalin. In return, and behind Churchill's back, he pledged to Chiang that he would keep the British out of Hong Kong and other ports where they were formerly entrenched.

B.— TEHERAN—Leaving Cairo, Roosevelt and his party flew 600 miles to Teheran, the capital of Iran, where at last he was to achieve his dream of meeting the Russian dictator. Churchill and his immediate staff were housed at the British embassy. But Roosevelt was taken to the Russian embassy. The Russian secret police had convinced Mike Reilly, Roosevelt's bodyguard, that this was essential to Roosevelt's safety in a neutral country swarming with Nazi spies.

The conference of the Big Three lasted from November 28 to December 1. When it ended the world learned what the communique told it. Once again "they had met, they had talked, they had resolved." Resolved what? They would work together. They had concerted plans that would guarantee victory. They would forge a peace after the war that would command the good will of the world and banish the scourge of war for generations. They had surveyed the future. They would seek the cooperation of all nations opposed to slavery and intolerance in the Family of Nations. Then a cryptic boast about what they would do to Germany on land, at sea and in the air. And of course they looked to the day when all peoples would live untouched by tyranny and according to their desires and consciences. "We came with hope and determination. We leave here friends in fact, in spirit and in purpose."

That is all the world knew about it and when the President returned to America it was amidst the usual demonstrations of triumph. All the publicity revealed him as the great figure dominating the conference, enforcing his plans, imposing his will upon his two powerful colleagues.

But little by little the curtain has been drawn aside and we have been allowed a peep into the councils of the great men who met and talked and proclaimed at Teheran. As they met Roosevelt was eager. He was going to charm Stalin by exhibiting at every turn a desire to agree with him, even at the expense of disagreeing with Churchill.

In an obviously White House-inspired article, Forrest Davis wrote that Roosevelt purposely pursued a soft policy toward Stalin, and that he avoided from the beginning giving the slightest offense to him. He complied with every wish of Stalin's as readily as possible. He believed that Russia could organize her vast powers and that, when victorious, she could be brought into the family of nations. He was convinced that the thing Russia needed most was peace. And lie believed that Stalin was far more interested in Russia's national welfare than in Marxian socialism. Of course Stalin's desire for those eastern European countries which he seemed planning to seize under one pretext or another was based on a natural desire to ensure friendly and peaceful states on Russia's borders. But when the world organization would be formed with Stalin in it, Roosevelt thought Stalin would no longer have anything to fear from his neighbors in this brave new world organized for security and that he would freely release the peoples he was seeking to take over.

Roosevelt proposed to do a little educational work on Stalin. He gave him two long lectures—one on our federal system and one on our good neighbor policy. He stressed how we had such good neighbors because we had no aggressive ambitions against our Central and South American friends. Of course Stalin listened to all this with approval. He assured Roosevelt he had no desire to "own all Europe." Russia, only half-populated, had plenty to do at home without interfering with her neighbors.

In order to avoid irritating disputes, Roosevelt arrived at the incredible conclusion that it was more important to have a reciprocal spirit among the Big Three than specific compacts. His purpose was to build Uncle Joe into a good neighbor, a better democrat and a good fellow.

Stalin, on the other hand, had a definite collection of objectives to attain. He would reach them either in definite compacts to secure those objectives or, where possible, without bothering with his allies. What he wanted was as clear as day. He wanted the Baltic states, East Poland, parts of Rumania and he wanted puppet governments in West Poland, Yugoslavia, Rumania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Greece and, of course in Korea and Manchuria.

His policy was to commit himself to nothing, to admit nothing and to demand and demand and demand—and to keep Roosevelt, particularly, in fear of his making a separate peace and in a state of continuous apology for not opening a second front. He wanted that front and he wanted it in France. His armies were approaching the very territories he proposed to take and when he entered them he intended to hold them and organize them to suit himself. Nobody but an infatuated man could fail to perceive all this. Stalin saw that in Roosevelt he was dealing with an easy mark and he played him to the top of his bent.

Churchill, a far more experienced diplomat than Roosevelt and also far more realistic, wanted to save from Stalin's grasp as much of the southern Balkans as possible. He was determined to prevent Stalin from realizing the old Russian dream of a Russian-controlled outlet on the Mediterranean. He was willing to sacrifice Poland for this. He wanted to see the allied armies go into the continent through the Balkans in order that they would be in possession of as much of those countries in the south—Greece, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Austria and whatever else they could take—before the Russians got in. Besides, it was now too late to beat the Russians into Poland and the Baltic. Churchill was not fooled by Stalin and Stalin knew it and that is why they were at each other's throats during the several conferences.

As these three men sat down to confer, two of them, Stalin and Churchill, were realists with their eyes fixed on definite objectives in the interest of their respective governments. They wanted specific and realizable things. Roosevelt deceived himself into believing that the mere meeting of himself and Stalin was "half his battle" as he told Elliott, and that, for the rest, he wanted to create a condition of mutual trust and understanding. Specific agreements about the postwar world could wait, trusting to mutual good will to provide the desired solutions.

Major General Deane, who was at all the conferences as the head of the U.S. Military Mission, wrote:

"Stalin appeared to know just what he wanted at the conference. This was also true of Churchill, but not of Roosevelt . . . His apparent indecision was probably the result of our obscure foreign policy."

General Deane points out that Roosevelt was thinking of winning the war but that Stalin and Churchill were thinking of their relative positions when the war was won. Stalin got everything he wanted— everything without any exceptions. Churchill did not, because Roosevelt, in pursuit of his vain policy, sided with Stalin against Churchill. Roosevelt got nothing, as we shall see. He got, of course, the United Nations. But this had already been settled on before he went to Teheran. And what is more this was no victory because Stalin got the United Nations precisely on his own terms and in a form that has enabled him to put his finger into every problem in the world and to completely frustrate the British and Americans in every effort to introduce order, peace and security.

Roosevelt did not get what he believed to be his objective because he made it clear he had to have Stalin's free and wholehearted support in the United Nations or it would be a failure from the start. Forrest Davis commented that Stalin acted with dash, Roosevelt with tardy improvisation. Stalin keyed his "great design" to control those sectors of eastern Europe which he wanted in his orbit. Roosevelt put all his eggs in one basket—his world organization scheme for which apparently he was prepared to sacrifice everything else, including the very things a world organization was expected to ensure.

Meantime Stalin and Molotov did not shrink from lying or indulging in double talk and Roosevelt was foolish enough to believe them. At home Roosevelt's Red and pink collaborators and his closest consultants were busy pouring out Soviet propaganda. Harry Hopkins never tired of plugging for his friend Stalin. Henry Wallace, then Vice-President, was talking about encouraging a people's revolution in Europe to advance the cause of the common man. Tito was being glorified in American magazines by Red and pink writers and others who were just plain dupes. Stalin himself and the Soviet government were offered to the American people in new and happy colors until, as James R Byrnes75 conceded, as the war neared its end Russia occupied a place in the good will of the American people exceeding that of any other ally. All this had been instigated and urged by Roosevelt himself. And no one knew it better than Stalin.

The President was eager to have Russia join in the war in the Pacific, according to General Deane. Stalin explained that Soviet forces in the East would have to be increased threefold before an offensive could be undertaken and this could not be done until Germany was defeated. "Then," he said, "by our common front we shall win." That is as much as Roosevelt got.

Once again Churchill brought up the question of shifting the invasion effort from the west coast of France to the Balkans. He wanted to hurry the Italian invasion by amphibious landings in the North and on the Northeast Adriatic aimed at the Danube Valley, an operation in the Aegean aimed at Rhodes or the Dodecanese and operations in and from Turkey if she would come into the war. General Deane says that Churchill wanted the Anglo-American forces in the Balkans as well as the Russians and he suggests that Churchill's foresight was later approved by our hindsight.

There can be no doubt that the invasion of the French coast was a less formidable undertaking than an invasion of the Balkans when the subject was first considered. Our opportunity to get into France in 1943 had been thrown away by Roosevelt's agreement to yield to Churchill against all his military advisers. But the African invasion had gone more swiftly than was hoped for when launched, though the Italian operation had been troublous. Now, however, that Italy was successfully invaded and the guerilla forces in Yugoslavia were so strong the question of the Balkan invasion took on added significance. Churchill urged it now with fresh vigor. But Stalin was adamant against it and this was enough reason for Roosevelt to object. Moreover, time was now running heavily against Roosevelt and Churchill. Stalin's armies were winging their way toward his territorial objectives.

Roosevelt had made his first mistake when Hitler attacked Stalin in 1941. He rushed Hopkins and Harriman to Stalin, to ask Uncle Joe what he wanted. We agreed to send him $1,500,000,000 of lend-lease without any condition whatever. That precious moment when the Russian armies were being driven back like cattle before Hitler's onrushing legions, when Stalin lacked everything save men, was thrown away by Roosevelt. Then was the time to force the conditions. General Deane, who remained in Moscow and saw the whole show, says Harry Hopkins carried out his collaboration with Stalin with a zeal approaching fanaticism. Now Stalin wanted no Anglo-American armies in the Balkans and he wanted that second front at once. The second front was agreed on to be launched in France about May, 1944.

Then came the question of Poland, the Baltic states and Finland. Stalin said he had not decided whether he would incorporate the Baltic states into the Soviet or make them into independent (puppet) states. But it was clear that he would make the decision and for his own reasons. On Poland, Roosevelt could get no direct answer. Finally Churchill switched the question to Poland's Russian boundaries and then suggested the Curzon line, which is practically the same as the Stalin-Ribbentrop line agreed on between those two worthies when they decided to partition Poland. This meant Poland was to be split in two. Actually this was agreed on. But what about the fate of what was left of Poland? There was silence on that. In fact the President had gotten a complete brush-off on Poland and had taken it with complete composure.

Here, too, Yugoslavia was yielded up to Stalin. And Marshal Tito was given the favor of the Big Three as against Mikhailovitch—one of the most appalling tragedies of the war. Stalin did not have to move his finger to accomplish this. It was an inside job—a job done in London inside the Foreign Office and in America inside the White House. The German army in 1940 invaded Yugoslavia and swiftly reduced it to submission. Its occupation, however, was never complete. Yugoslavia is populated by three peoples—the Serbs, the Croats and the Slovenes. The Serbs are by far the most populous.

Shortly after the invasion the world began to hear of a Chetnik underground army under heroic Colonel Draja Mikhailovitch, a brilliant officer in the then dispersed Yugoslavian forces. At a later date a new name appeared, that of Josef Broz Tito, a Croat who had spent much time in Russia and became a member of the Communist party there, returning to Yugoslavia and functioning as a leader of the small Communist party. The world is familiar with the struggle between these two underground native armies—Communist and non-Communist.

In the United States and Great Britain powerful influences inside both governments, operating under the tolerance extended to the Reds, got the confidence of both Churchill and Roosevelt. Leading American newspapers and magazines, deceived by government propaganda, threw themselves on the side of the Communist Tito, The most active individual with his pen was Louis Adamic, a more or less professional Yugoslavian in America. He had access to the ear of Mrs. Roosevelt. He was a dinner guest at the White House. He kept up an incessant pressure at every point he could reach. He got a chance to tell President and Mrs. Roosevelt about the fine and truly democratic movement led by Tito. He had a very intimate association with the Office of War Information which was crawling with Communists and their current stooges. At the same time Mikhailovitch was berated as a fraud, as an ineffectual interloper with so little backing that Hitler offered a reward of 100,000 marks for Tito's head but nothing for Mikhailovitch's, which was a lie.

These libels on Mikhailovitch and these exaltations of Tito were repeated in other magazines. Frank Gervasi in Colliers wrote how Tito led 250,000 men while Mikhailovitch had no more than 10,000. The Yugoslav government-in-exile in London supported Mikhailovitch. This embarrassed the British Foreign Office in its dealings with the implacable Stalin. Hence the British Broadcasting Company was closed to the Yugoslav government-in-exile and a little later put at the disposal of Tito and his Partisans. Churchill allowed himself to be swayed for Tito. Roosevelt in 1942 had paid tribute to Mikhailovitch and his daring men. But at Teheran, as part of the policy of appeasing Stalin, the two Western leaders deserted Mikhailovitch completely and yielded to Russia. Shortly after Teheran, Churchill in a speech (February, 1944) indicated that the allies were no longer sending supplies to Mikhailovitch. Two months later King Peter was forced to dismiss Premier Purich, which meant his whole cabinet in which Mikhailovitch was Minister of War. The Communist Subasich was made Prime Minister. The complete victory of Tito with the aid of the subsequent Russian invasion and American supplies is well known. Well known—and with shame—is the tragic story of Mikhailovitch who was shot as a traitor by Tito.

Roosevelt got nothing. He agreed with Stalin on everything— the second front in France, no attack through the Balkans, the surrender of eastern Poland, the desertion of Mikhailovitch, the sacrifice of the Baltic states. Above all, he had revealed himself to Stalin as a compliant ally. Stalin must have wondered why Roosevelt was yielding to him on everything so swiftly.

There was still something more to be settled. Stalin had engineered Roosevelt into living in the Soviet embassy although the American embassy was available. He had done this by exploiting the danger to the President from German spies. Roosevelt was, of course, in no greater danger than the British Prime Minister. The success of Stalin's maneuver in this matter was soon to become clear. Later Roosevelt told his son Elliott that "in between times Uncle Joe and I had a few words, too—just the two of us." As Stalin's guest in the Russian embassy, Roosevelt was accessible for a secret talk or two without Churchill's knowledge. One of these dealt with the Chinese Communist issue. Roosevelt told Elliott we couldn't do much about that "while Winnie was around." He brought up the question of a common front against the British on the matter of Hong Kong, Shanghai and Canton. Chiang, Roosevelt told Stalin, was worried about what Russia would do in Manchuria.

Roosevelt and Stalin agreed that Manchuria would remain with China and that Stalin and he would back Chiang against the British. Referring to this, Roosevelt confided to Elliott that "the biggest thing was in making clear to Stalin that the United States and Great Britain were not in one common block against the Soviet Union." After that, the way must have seemed wide open to Stalin for all his plans. Here was Roosevelt suggesting a secret deal between himself and Stalin against Churchill, just as he had suggested a secret deal between himself and Chiang against Churchill and as he was later to make another secret deal between himself and Stalin against Chiang.

He was to have a golden opportunity to convince Stalin of this attitude before he quit Teheran. Roosevelt gave a dinner the first evening, Stalin the next and Churchill on the final evening at the British embassy. At Stalin's dinner the guests gave themselves over to the victuals and the vodka in a big way. Elliott Roosevelt tells how Stalin thrust a barbed shaft into Churchill's temper. In one of his numerous toasts he raised his glass and said:

"To the swiftest possible justice for all Germany's war criminals—justice before a firing squad. I drink to our unity in dispatching them as fast as we catch them, all of them, and there must be at least 50,000 of them."

Churchill flushed, leaped to his feet. He declared that any such mass murder was contrary to the British sense of justice. He was opposed to anybody, Nazis or anyone else, going before a firing squad without a proper legal trial.

Certainly no American could take exception to that and no decent American could endorse the sentiments of Stalin. Churchill having taken up the challenge, Roosevelt might have been well advised to remain out of it or, if he intervened, to either support Churchill or, in any case, attempt to mollify both men. Instead he said in a jocular vein:

"Clearly there must be some compromise . . . Perhaps we could say that instead of summarily executing 50,000 we should settle on a smaller number, say 49,500."

The Americans and Russians laughed. The British remained silent "in the presence of Churchill's mounting fury." Stalin was delighted. He took up the cue and pressed the matter. He called on everyone present for an opinion. He got around to Elliott who was flushed with liquor, as he admits, and who rose "unsteadily to his feet" Elliott said "Our armies will settle the matter for most of those 50,000 and perhaps a hundred thousand more." Stalin, greatly pleased, walked around the table to Elliott, put his arm around his shoulder and drank to his health.

Churchill, infuriated, rushed to Elliott, shaking his finger in his face and crying: "Are you interested in damaging relations between the allies? Do you know what you are saying? How can you dare to say such a thing?" Elliott says he had good reason to believe Churchill never forgot the incident but that his father was greatly amused by it. It was a happy opportunity for him to add, by an amusing incident, to the proofs he was giving that he and Stalin, like Hopkins and Stalin, were buddies.

The following evening there was a dinner at the British embassy on the occasion of Churchill's birthday. The Prime Minister put the incident aside and appeared in his most joyous humor, actually entertaining the guests by doing a highland fling. Czechoslovakia's disappearance in 1939 into the darkness of Hitler's tyranny had called forth doleful eloquence from Mr. Churchill. Now the disappearance of Poland and the four little Baltic states behind the dark iron curtain of Stalin's tyranny was made to the flowing beakers of vodka and the merry shouts of the happy chieftains who were arranging the affairs of the brave new world.

C.—CAIRO AGAIN—The triumph at Teheran completed, Roosevelt returned to Cairo where a few loose ends in the tattered garments of the world were yet to be tied up. There was a further meeting with the combined chiefs of staff where General Marshall was directed to announce to General Eisenhower the President's decision to name him supreme commander in the West. Incidentally, Mr. Stimson later corrected Elliott Roosevelt's version of this. Elliott says his father wanted to name Marshall supreme commander but Churchill objected. Mr. Stimson says Churchill wanted Marshall but that Roosevelt himself made the choice of Eisenhower. President Inonu of Turkey was delivered to Cairo for a two-hour conference with Roosevelt and Churchill. Stalin had wanted Turkey in the war. He wanted the provinces of Kars and Ardahan and he wanted the Straits opened and kept under his protection. This meant Russian troops on Turkish soil. Inonu was willing to come in but not on these terms. Churchill wanted Turkey in, but not on Russia's terms. In the end it was decided at Cairo that Turkey would not enter the war but that the decision should be hidden behind some double talk in the communique.

With this Roosevelt's great labors abroad were over. He told Elliott he was anxious to get home. But he did not go directly. He went to Malta and then to Sicily and was photographed there presenting a medal to General Clark. Then he flew to Dakar, boarded the Iowa and sailed for home and Christmas with his family at Hyde Park. His return was welcomed with the usual blast of glorification for the great victory at Teheran.

On January 4, Stalin's victorious legions swept into Poland. A tremor of doubt and fear went through the diplomatic representatives of Poland, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Greece. What agreement had Roosevelt been able to wring from Stalin before he could set foot upon the soil of the Balkan countries? They besieged Hull for some information. But he had to confess that Roosevelt tried to raise the question but met no encouragement from Stalin. It is doubtful if Hull really knew. However, on January 11, Stalin announced the incorporation of the eastern half of Poland into the Ribbentrop-Molotov line (now rechristened the Curzon line). But what would he do with the western half of Poland? Stalin praised his Red-sponsored Union of Polish Patriots made up of former Poles living in Russia. There was an ominous portent in that.

On February 22, Churchill made a speech in the Commons in which he said that Poland must make territorial concessions to Russia. The Polish, Baltic and Balkan diplomats in Washington could not get to Roosevelt. He was either away from Washington, ill, or too busy with the coming second front. The Polish Ambassador tried to arrange a meeting for the new Polish premier Mikolajczyk. But he was put off for one reason or another. He did not succeed in arranging an audience for Mikolajczyk until June.

By this time the President's fourth-term nomination and approaching election were at hand. It was what he called his "political year." It will be recalled that Hopkins had said "they were prostrate about the Moscow conference." Why? Because Poland was endangered? Hopkins cared nothing about Poland. It was at this time, when Mr. Ciechanowski twitted Hopkins about his "indifference to the human angle," that Hopkins agreed with him and told him "I love only Roosevelt." This was Hopkins' career—serving Roosevelt from whom he derived his own power and the exquisite pleasure of moving the pawns in so prodigious and delirious a game as a planetary war. He was prostrate about the Moscow conference because of its effect on Roosevelt's coming bid for another term as President. He explained to the Polish envoy: "How can we expect him, now we are getting busy preparing him for his reelection, suddenly to get up and express his doubt of the possibility of Soviet-American collaboration?"

When the Polish Prime Minister Mikolajczyk arrived for his visit with Roosevelt, everywhere he was cautioned about Roosevelt's "political year." The President talked to him about it. Stettinius, who was functioning as Acting Secretary of State in Hull's absence, told him about it several times. Hopkins talked about it. Stettinius told Mikolajczyk that the President could not adopt a more decisive attitude with Stalin "in view of the elections." But why not? What could Stalin do about the American elections? Did Stalin control any votes here?

In fact the political problem presented to Roosevelt was very delicate. We know now from the election returns of 1944 that the Reds had in their hands enough support to have turned the tide against Roosevelt. In New York State, for instance, Roosevelt won its 47 electoral votes by a majority of 317,000. But he got 825,000 votes from the Red American Labor Party dominated by the Communists, which had also nominated him, and the American Liberal Party made up of the pinks, which also nominated him. Without these votes he would have lost the state. He dared not defy these two powerful groups. On the other hand, he was in a very deep hole with the votes of the Polish, Lithuanian, Serbian and other Baltic and Balkan peoples living in America who were citizens. He had betrayed the Poles, the Serbs and the Baltic peoples. But he had managed to keep it dark. Somehow he must avoid any publication of the truth until after the election. This was his last try for power. He needed the votes of these American minority groups for one more election.

He therefore avoided any whisper of dissatisfaction with his Moscow and Teheran conferences in order to hold his Red and pink vote in the big industrial centers. And he used every artifice to deceive the Poles and other "liberated" peoples for just one more election. Accordingly, after holding the Polish Premier off for as long as possible, he arranged for a visit in June. When Mikolajczyk arrived he was received with every distinction. Stettinius remained with him constantly. Roosevelt talked with him at least four times. He gave a state dinner for him. But Stalin was making the going difficult for his friend Roosevelt. In July he handed over the western part of Poland which remained "free" to the "Committee of Liberation" headed by a Soviet Quisling named Bierut, a former Pole long a Soviet citizen. This frightened the Palace Guard in the White House and the discerning men around Democratic headquarters. They confessed that the Polish vote was critically important in Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New Jersey and above all in New York.

But before the election the Polish leaders in Europe were to learn the whole dark truth. Mikolajczyk went to Moscow to meet Stalin and see what could be done. There was a conference between Stalin, Churchill, Mikolajczyk, Molotov, Eden, Harriman and others on October 13. Mikolajczyk argued against the seizure of Poland up to the Curzon line. Stalin demanded that the Soviet's absorption of eastern Poland up to the Curzon line be recognized and that the Red Committee of Liberation to whom he had delivered western Poland be also recognized.

Churchill supported Stalin. Mikolajczyk pressed his argument. Suddenly Molotov said it was necessary to remind those present that at Teheran President Roosevelt had expressed his complete agreement with the Curzon line as the Polish-Soviet frontier and that the President had merely added that for the time being his agreement on this point should not be made public. Then he challenged Churchill and Harriman to deny the statement if it was not true. "Because," he said, "it appears to me that Mr. Mikolajczyk is not aware of the fact." Molotov paused for a reply. No denial was forthcoming. The truth was out at last. Later Churchill urged the Polish leader to yield. Churchill grew angry. He said he "was not going to wreck the peace of Europe because of a quarrel between Poles."

There was but three weeks now to the American elections. That is why Roosevelt wanted his agreement kept secret "for the time being." The news of this revelation was kept away from the United States until after the election was over.