America at war! (1941--) -- Part 2

Roosevelt-Churchill-Mackenzie King luncheon meeting, early afternoon

United States United Kingdom Canada
President Roosevelt Prime Minister Churchill Prime Minister Mackenzie King
Mr. Hopkins Mrs. Churchill
Subaltern Mary Churchill
Foreign Secretary Eden

Harriman-Eden conversation, afternoon

United States United Kingdom
Mr. Harriman Foreign Secretary Eden

From an informal note by Harriman:

Had a talk with Eden about Russia and the proposed discussion, and the agenda.

The Pittsburgh Press (August 24, 1943)

700 bombers fire Berlin

Flames visible for 250 miles; RAF loses 58 planes
By Walter Cronkite, United Press staff writer

‘Forward action’ pledged at Québec; fleets, armies, planes to hit Japs

War in Pacific principal topic, Roosevelt and Churchill announce
By Merriman Smith, United Press staff writer

Québec, Canada –
President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced today that their eight-day war conferences had been largely devoted to the war against Japan and promised that powerful “forward action” would be executed soon by the fleets, armies and air forces of the two nations.

In what probably will be regarded as their “Declaration of Québec,” the two leaders announced the possibility of a tripartite conference with Russia, but in an explanatory press conference accompanying their statement explained tactfully that Russia was not asked to this largely-Pacific meeting because she is not at war against Japan.

Refraining from any positive statement on details of the decisions reached here, Mr. Roosevelt and the Prime Minister told in their joint statement how the war talks were devoted “largely” to “the war against Japan and the bringing of effective aid to China.”

Plans unanimously approved

Then they announced their unanimous approval of the plans reached by their Combined Chiefs of Staff and agreement on “political issues underlying or arising out of the military operations.”

The statement also disclosed that the question of recognition of the French National Committee of Liberation had been on the agenda and that announcements from a good “many” governments on this point could be expected some time late this week.

British and American leaders will hold another similar conference before the end of this year, the announcement said, “in addition to any tripartite meeting which it may be possible to arrange with Soviet Russia.”

Russia’s position clear

Then, clearly saying that Russia has no part in Allied plans for the Pacific, the statement continued:

Full reports of the decisions so far as they affect the war against Germany and Italy will be furnished to the Soviet government.

The two leaders reminded the approximately 150 reporters gathered in the open on the upper terrace of the King’s bastion at the Citadel that “the whole field of world operations” was surveyed in “the light of many gratifying events.”

Other plans to develop

Mr. Roosevelt pointed out that plans reached at their Casablanca Conference last January had just become apparent – in Tunis and Sicily. Mindful that he and Mr. Churchill had met last May in Washington, the President said he thought it could be assumed that other plans were about to be developed – a statement that was generally accepted as meaning activities, because at several other points in the talk, they spoke of action soon.

Mr. Churchill said that the armed forces of Great Britain and the United States were more closely united than any armies of different countries in history.

Because the emphasis of the Québec Conference was on the defeat of Japan, Mr. Churchill said that there was no call for representation by others than belligerents against the Japanese.

Tribute paid Russians

Later, Mr. Churchill paid high tribute to the Russian drive against the German Army, with the activation of plans reached here and in past meetings and in the future, Great Britain and the United States will be able, he said, to bring the whole of their weight to bear. This, combined with the powerful operations of Russia, “should give us,” he added, “the very best means for releasing the suffering, Axis-oppressed peoples of the world.”

Because the Allies are engaged in a life-and-death struggle, Mr. Churchill, said, speaking informally, it is impossible to talk in detailed terms, but he added that very good conclusions had been reached here. Any differences before the conference here involved priority and emphasis, he said, but there was nothing but complete unanimity of principle.

Slouched in chair

With Sicily prostrate after an operation planned last winter at Casablanca, the British Prime Minister, slouched in a chair and with his hat down over his eyes, said the world could rightly expect another Allied achievement to be forthcoming.

Great steps, he added, were being taken to bat down our antagonists one after another.

Canadian Prime Minister W. L. Mackenzie King also participated in the press conference. The three men sat in a terrace outside the Citadel, atop the ramparts 400 feet above the St. Lawrence River.

They had their backs to the top of the rampart which formed a ledge.

Eden, Hopkins present

As the conference started, Anthony Eden, British Foreign Secretary, took a seat on the ledge behind Mr. Churchill, Beside him were Brandon Bracken, British Minister of Information; Harry Hopkins, Mr. Roosevelt’s personal advisor, and Stephen T. Early, his Press Secretary.

Mr. Churchill was chewing on half an unlit cigar which he discarded over the parapet just before talking. It missed Mr. Eden, but only because he ducked.

Without qualification, Churchill said, that our forces – meaning apparently those of Great Britain and the United States – were better armed, better equipped and superior in weapons to the enemy; that the German submarine warfare against Allied shipping had rolled over from the debit to the credit side of the war ledger; that Allied shipping was mounting every day in volume.

Spread confident feeling

Spread wide the feeling of confidence, he added, waving his arms for emphasis and looking around the large group. That is how, he said, “you can play your part along with the others in winning the war.”

Mr. Roosevelt followed Mr. Churchill in addressing the reporters who were not permitted to ask questions, and played on the life-and-death struggle theme started by the Prime Minister. He said that while things were progressing much better, there was still much long, hard fighting ahead.

That fact, said the President, makes it necessary for full-shouldered support of the war effort by all peoples of the United Nations particularly those who make the things the armies and navies and air forces use in seeking victory.

Mr. Churchill muttered, “Hear, hear.”

Charts vast improvement

The President spoke of a series of recent successes and charted the vast improvement in the Allied position since he and Mr. Churchill conferred in Washington in June 1942, in which he described as “the dark days” of Tobruk. The plans made were then activated in November 1942, with the invasion of North Africa. Then he told how their meeting at Casablanca produced the Tunisian and Sicilian campaigns.

The President cited that series of events to support the assumption which he, himself, had offered: That another big Allied move is about to be disclosed. Both he and Mr. Churchill stressed, however, that the disclosure would come only with action and destruction for the enemy. Now would they give any hint as to its general locale.

Both the President and the Prime Minister stressed the importance and the achievements of their conferences and said the meetings of the High Command of the two nations would be held more often in the future.

Victory conference aim

The overall aim at each conference naturally is the winning of the war in the shortest possible time, Mr. Roosevelt said.

Mr. Roosevelt stressed the global aspects of the war, saying that the talks here in Québec covered far more than Japan, but took in the East and the West; over and under the equator, proving that this is all one operation.

Aside from the predictions of doom for the Japs, it is a safe bet Messrs. Roosevelt and Churchill and their imposing array of military and political experts also considered these questions:

  • A final knockout punch at the heart of German armed strength;
  • The cleanup of Italy and the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean;
  • Commanders for forthcoming operations in all theaters;
  • The general Soviet situation;
  • An assortment of political problems, including luring Spain away from her Axis ties;
  • Recognition of the French National Committee of Liberation.

Hopkins present

The final decision on the Pacific was in the hands of what British Minister of Information Bracken described as the “great trinity” of the Pacific – Britain, the United States and China as represented by Mr. Roosevelt, Mr. Churchill and Chinese Foreign Minister T. V. Soong. The British Information expert characterized Mr. Hopkins as an “honorary member” of the trinity in the conference yesterday.

Mr. Bracken’s term “trinity” touched off new speculation about the relation of these conferences to the Soviet Union.

Officials still declined to offer an explanation of why Russia withdrew Ambassador Maxim Litvinov from Washington weeks ago but announced it only after the Québec Conference were well underway. One source described the action as “making faces” and professed ignorance as the reason.

Opinion about the Litvinov transfer was divided, one school favoring the idea that it was a rebuke to the Anglo-American strategists for failing to provide a second front; the other school regarding it as a rebuke to Litvinov for not having influenced the Allies into a second front.

Planes wreck 3 more Italian rail junctions

By Reynolds Packard, United Press staff writer

FBI seizes four as spies; woman called ringleader

Detroit doctor, 44, among those arrested

Least valuable first –
5,100 fathers facing draft

Estimate for county 1,700 above original figure

New pay raise formula given by Labor Board

Rule-of-thumb system instituted for individual cases

Her ex-friends spill it –
U.S. Consul in Berlin once ‘Gertie’s’ boss

Acquaintances recall her as ‘good-looker’

Gen. Drum assigned to new defense job

All-out war effort?
Census Bureau ‘tells all’ about farms back in 1940

Half of 245 pages used to clear up the ‘mystery’ on how the big ‘tome’ was gotten out
By Daniel M. Kidney, Scripps-Howard staff writer

Jap Navy head killed in raid, China reports

Adm. Koga, successor to Yamamoto, dies in South Pacific

Allied chiefs don’t share speedy victory optimism

Poll of British, American officers shows average forecast on Nazi defeat is April 15, 1944
By Hugh Baillie

Women’s dresses called ‘offensive, shameless’

Aussie troops tighten siege near Jap base

Allies seize bridgehead across river near Salamaua
By Brydon Taves, United Press staff writer

German planes use rocket gun

Strings of black balls shot at U.S. Fortresses

Planes smash Japanese jabs in Burma area

Chinese believe enemy is worried about coming Allied offensive
By Robert P. Martin, United Press staff writer

Socialites admit to OPA black market purchases

Two say they bought beef tenderloin for $2 a pound; loss of ration books faced

Soviet envoy to reach new war aid pact

Litvinov successor finds Lend-Lease one of big matters

Towns shun movie folk

Don’t want to play host to Hollywoodians

WPB may relieve whisky shortage