Churchill to Forde [1]

Cablegram D1170 LONDON, 5 July 1945, 7 p.m.


At the Crimea Conference Stalin informed Roosevelt and myself in the most rigid secrecy of the willingness of the Soviet Government to enter the war against Japan two or three months after the surrender of Germany on the following conditions.

A. Preservation of the status quo in Outer Mongolia.

B. Restoration of Russian rights lost in 1904, namely, (i) Recovery of Southern Sakhalin and adjacent islands.

(ii) Internationalisation of the commercial port of Dairen with safeguards for the pre-eminent interests of the U.S.S.R. and restoration of the lease of Port Arthur as a Soviet naval base.

(iii) Joint operation by a Soviet Chinese Company of the Chinese Eastern Railway and the South Manchuria Railway providing an outlet to Dairen on the understanding that the pre-eminent interests of the U.S.S.R. will be safeguarded and that China will retain all sovereignty in Manchuria.

C. Acquisition of the Kuril Islands by the U.S.S.R.

2. These conditions were embodied in a personal agreement between Stalin, Roosevelt and myself in which it was recognised that they would require the concurrence of Chiang Kai-Shek. Roosevelt undertook to obtain this concurrence on advice from Stalin and we all three agreed to see that the Soviet claims were fulfilled without question after the defeat of Japan. There was nothing else in the agreement except an expression of Russian readiness to make a treaty of alliance with China for the purpose of helping the latter to throw off the Japanese yoke.

3. We have reason to believe that the Japanese have as yet no inkling of Russian intentions and owing to the extreme need for secrecy I have not hitherto felt justified in giving any circulation to the above information. We now understand, however, that the Americans made a demarche in Chungking in the middle of June and that T.V. Soong’s [2] journey to Moscow will be largely concerned with this matter. I think, therefore, that you should be fully apprised of the position.


1 This cablegram was addressed to the Acting Prime Minister of Australia. On 2 July, following his return from San Francisco, Forde had become Acting Prime Minister. After Curtin’s death on 5 July Forde was Prime Minister until 13 July when Chifley, newly elected leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party, was commissioned to form a government.

2 President of the Executive Yuan and Chinese Foreign Minister.


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