and Stalin agree on the changes in Polish frontiers.
The President also disclaims interest in the political
integrity of Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia in favor
of the Soviet Union. (Roosevelt did not inform Churchill
about this conversation.) Tehran, December 1943.
Roosevelt Stalin Meeting,
December 1, 1943, 3:20 p.m.
Roosevelts quarters, Soviet embassy
United States: President Roosevelt, Mr. Harriman, Mr. Bohlen
Soviet Union: Marshal Stalin, Foreign Commissar Molotov, Mr. Pavlov
The President said he had asked Marshal Stalin to come see him as he wished to discuss a
matter briefly and frankly. He said it referred to internal American politics.
He said that we had an election in 1944 and that while personally he did not wish to run
again, if war was still in progress, he might have to.
He added that there were in the United States from six to seven million Americans of Polish
extraction, and as a practical man, he did not wish to lose their vote. He said he personally
agreed with the views of Marshal Stalin as to the necessity of the restoration of a Polish
state but would like to see the Eastern border moved further to the west and the Western
border moved even to the River Oder. He hoped, however, that the Marshal would
understand that for political reasons outlined above, he could not participate in any decision
here at Tehran or even next winter on this subject and that he could not publicly take part in
any such arrangement at the present time.
Marshal Stalin replied that now the President explained, he had understood.
The President went on to say that there were a number of persons of Lithuanian, Latvian,
and Estonian origin, in that order, in the United States. He said that he fully realized the
three Baltic Republics had in history and again more recently been a part of Russia and jokingly added that when the Soviet armies re-occupied these areas, he did not intend to go
to war with the Soviet Union on this point.
He went on to say that the big issue in the United States, insofar as public opinion went,
would be the question of referendum and the right of self-determination. He said he thought
world opinion would want some expression of the will of the people, perhaps not
immediately after their re-occupation by Soviet forces, but some day, and that he personally
was confident that the people would vote to join the Soviet Union.
Marshal Stalin replied that the three Baltic Republics had no autonomy under the last Czar
who had been an ally of Great Britain and the United States, but that no one had raised the
question of public opinion, and he did not quite see why it was being raised now.
The President replied that the truth of the matter was
that the public neither knew nor
Marshal Stalin answered that they should be informed and some propaganda work should
He added that as to the expression of the will of the people,
there would be lots of opportunities for that to be done
in accordance with the Soviet constitution but that he
could not agree to any form of international control.
The President replied that it would be helpful for him personally if some public declaration in
regard to the future elections to which the Marshal had referred, could be made.
Marshal Stalin repeated there would be plenty of opportunities for such an expression of the
will of the people.
After a brief discussion of the time of the President's departure and that of Marshal Stalin,
the President said there were only two matters which the three of them had not talked over.
He said he had already outlined to the Marshal his ideas on the three world organizations
but he felt that it was premature to consider them here with Mr. Churchill. He referred
particularly to his idea of the four great nations, the United States, Great Britain, the Soviet
Union, and China, policing the world in the post-war period. He said it was just an idea, and
the exact form would require further study.
Mr. Molotov said that at the Moscow Conference, in accordance
with the Four Power Declaration, it had been agreed that
the three governments would give further study to the
exact form of world organization and the means of assuring
the leading role of the four
During the conversation, in reply to the President's question, Marshal Stalin said that he had
received the three papers which the President had handed him the day before yesterday,
one in regard to air bases, and the other two in regard to secret contacts involving the Far
East, but said he had not had time to study the documents carefully, but would take it up in
Moscow with Ambassador Harriman.
At this meeting, Stalin referring to his conversation with the President on November 28 
on the world organization, said that after thinking over the question of the world organization
as outlined by the President, he had come to agree with the President that it should be
world-wide and not regional.
After Zawodny, Janusz Kazimierz. Nothing but Honour:
The Story of the Warsaw Uprising, 1944, Pan
Foreign Relations of the United States. The Conferences at Cairo and Teheran, 1943,