760d.61/228: Telegram

The Minister in Finland (Schoenfeld) to the Secretary of State
Helsinki, October 9, 1939—3 p.m.
[Received October 9—1:05 p.m.]

227. British Minister has expressed to me his personal opinion that Finnish policy may not be sufficiently flexible in forthcoming negotiations with Soviet Union to warrant confident expectation that they will result in avoiding clash. He made suggestion that our Government might bring its influence to bear on Finnish Government in the sense indicated and I answered that I doubted your willingness to do so, having in mind your telegram No. 114, October 4. He then suggested that probably best channel through which to urge flexibility on Finnish Government would be the Swedish Foreign Minister because of latter's long experience in diplomatic technique and special relations between Sweden and Finland.
In view of considerations set forth in my telegrams numbers 219 and 222, I cannot deny that there is some danger in the situation from the extended time British Minister had in mind but on the other hand it would seem that no action can be taken by a third government on the assumption that Finnish Government may not handle its negotiations with Soviet Government with restraint and skill. It may well turn out that better opening for exercise of moderating influence will exist at Moscow than here.


Source: Foreign relations of the United States. Diplomatic papers. 1939. Volume I. General. (CONCERN OF THE UNITED STATES OVER SOVIET DEMANDS ON FINLAND AND THE OUTBREAK OF THE WINTER WAR). Department of State 1956, publ. 6242. (University of Wisconsin Digital Collections)

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