J. V. Stalin
Source: For Peaceful Coexistence: Post War Interviews
Publisher: International Publishers, New York, 1951
Transcription/Markup: Brian Reid
[Interview with Kingsbury Smith, representative of International News Service, January 27, 1949]
Question: Would the government of the U.S.S.R. be prepared to consider the issuance of a joint declaration with the government of the United States of America, asserting that the respective governments have no intention of resorting to war against one another?
Answer: The Soviet government would be prepared to consider the issuance of such a declaration.
Question: Would the government of the U.S.S.R, be prepared to join with the government of the United States of America in measures designed to implement this pact of peace, such as gradual disarmament?
Answer: Naturally, the government of the U.S.S.R. could cooperate with the government of the United States of America in taking measures designed to implement this pact of peace and leading to gradual disarmament.
Question: If the governments of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and France agreed to postpone the establishment of a separate Western German state, pending a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers to consider the German problem as a whole, would the Government of the U.S.S.R. be prepared to remove the restrictions which the Soviet authorities have imposed on communications between Berlin and the Western zones of Germany?
Answer: Provided the United States of America, Great Britain, and France observe the conditions set forth in the third question, the Soviet government sees no obstacles to lifting transport restrictions, on the understanding, however, that transport and trade restrictions introduced by the three Powers should be lifted simultaneously.
Question: Would Your Excellency be prepared to confer with President Truman at a mutually suitable place to discuss the possibility of concluding such a pact of peace?
Answer: I have already stated before that there is no objection to a meeting.
[Smith later sent the following telegram to Stalin]
The official representative of the White House, Charles Ross, stated today that President Truman would be glad to have the opportunity to confer with you in Washington. Would Your Excellency be prepared to go to Washington for this purpose? If not, then where would you be prepared to meet the President?
[The reply was as follows:]
Your telegram of February 1 received. I am grateful to President Truman for the invitation to come to Washington. For a long time it has been my wish to visit Washington, and at one time I mentioned this to President Roosevelt at Yalta, and to President Truman at Potsdam.
Unfortunately, at present I am unable to realize this wish of mine, since doctors strongly object to my undertaking any prolonged journey, especially by sea or air.
The government of the Soviet Union would welcome the President’s visit to the U.S.S.R. A conference could be arranged at the President’s choice: in Moscow, Leningrad, Kaliningrad, Odessa, or at Yalta, provided, of course, this does not go against the President’s consideration of convenience.
However, should this suggestion meet with objection, a meeting could be arranged, at the President’s discretion, in Poland or Czechoslovakia.