THE TELEGRAM OF THE PLENIPOTENTIARY OF THE USSR IN THE USA K. A. UMANSKY TO THE PEOPLE'S COMMISSARIAT FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE USSR
30 November 1939.
The anti-Soviet media campaign on the Finnish issue has reached extreme harshness and, along with the previous attacks of the Dies Committee, the American Federation of Labor and other organizations hostile to us, create a state of increasing tension in our relations to the United States.
Until recently, the press was unofficially inspired by the State Department in the spirit that the USSR will try to "tire Finland out" but the Finns must and can successfully hold against the pressure that is not leading to military dangers. The current turn of events came as a surprise to the press, which played the most irresponsible game to encourage and incite the Finns. The speeches of the Soviet government are published in detail, but they drown into the mass of hostile material based on false versions of Helsinki and seek to prove that weak Finland cannot threaten us. Apart from friends, there is not a single sensible voice in the press. Previously, demands for a rupture in Soviet-American relations came only from nominal organizations and boulevard newspapers, from today, threats of this kind appeared in the "serious" press, including The Times and The Washington Post. Anti-Soviet persecution follows from:
1) General strengthening of our positions in the West and the Far East.
2) Roosevelt's course for more and more active assistance to the Anglo-French, while under the cover of the slogan of non-participation in the war with the clever use of anti-fascist sentiments in the country and with very weak resistance from isolated anti-war intermediaries.
3) Aspirations of the American government to disarm the opposition, which accused Roosevelt of "leftism", with measures against the Communist Party as an "agent" of the USSR and with these measures to facilitate the creep into the war.
4) The relative decline in interest in trade with us in a high market situation, although it did not meet all the expectations of industrialists, disappointed by the small scale of the war.
5) A very effective anti-Soviet propaganda of the British, influencing the press, radio and cinema through the network of experienced propagandists who came here in large numbers and with the assistance of British-type bankers like Morgan. Over the past two days, the press has inspired reasonings on the subject that fulfilment of our demands by Finland will pose a threat to Scandinavia, and then England, and unleash the advance of the USSR to the Balkans and Iran. Unlike England, there are neither bourgeois newspapers, nor major figures who would warn against deteriorating relations with us, except for small progressive minorities of the intelligentsia.
Despite this situation, the prospect of a break seems to me very unlikely, not only because of our enormous prestige, in particular in matters of the Far East, but also because of the internal political difficulty for Roosevelt to renounce his own act of establishing relations. However, it is quite possible that, in the event of events that will be depicted here as a state of war, Roosevelt will apply to us (and Finland) the act of neutrality, that is, he will declare part of our waters a military zone and prohibit American vessels from entering them, as well as sending military materials without full payment before loading and so on. I admit that pinbricks are also possible, such as the ambassador's long departure. Along the way, we will be blackmailed by campaigns with threats of rupture, relying on the unsubstantiated accusation of interference in internal affairs in the spirit of the Dies campaign.
I submit separately some proposals.
AVP RF, f. 059, op. 1, p. 296, d. 2049, l. 157—159.
Source Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. Documents of foreign policy. 1939. XXII:2. No. 823. Moscow: Internat. relations, 1992. Machine assisted translation.
Finland in the Soviet foreign policy 1939-1940