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HST-FBP_15-02_01 - 1945-07-25

Transcript Date

Berlin July 25, 1945

Dear Bess:

We have been going at it hammer and tongs in the last few days and it looks as if we may finish up Sunday. I hope so at any rate. I told them yesterday that I intend to head for Washington at the earliest possible moment and that when we came to an impasse I would leave.

We have accomplished a very great deal in spite of all the talk. Set up a council of ministers to negotiate peace with Italy, Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Finland, and Austria. We have discussed a free waterway program for Europe, making the Black Sea straits, the Danube, the Rhine, and the Kiel Canal free to everyone. We have a setup for the government of Germany and we hope we are in sight of agreement on reparations.

So you see we have not wasted time. There are some things we can't agree to. Russia and Poland have gobbled up a big hunk of Germany and want Britain and us to agree. I have flatly refused. We have unalterably opposed the recognition of police governments in the Germany Axis countries. I told Stalin that until we had free access to those countries and our nationals had their property rights restored, so far as we were concerned there'd never be recognition. He seems to like it when I hit him with a hammer.

I see Drew Pearson has been taking an interest in Vietta. If that so-and-so ever says anything to your or Margaret's detriment I shall give him a little Western direct action that he'll long remember. I don't care what he says about me but I can get hotter than a depot stove when he mentions my family.

Kiss Margie, lots of love, Harry.