The Pittsburgh Press (October 27, 1944)
Last lap of European War here but present stage is dour and hard, Commons told
London, England (UP) –
Prime Minister Churchill today expressed earnest hope that Premier Stalin, President Roosevelt and he may meet again within two months, presumably after the U.S. election, and revealed Russia and Britain have proposed a temporary “united government” for the Balkan countries to aid in prosecuting the war against Germany.
Mr. Churchill told the House of Commons that his Moscow consultations with Stalin achieved “highly satisfactory” results, including full agreement on the Balkans and Hungary, progress on the thorny Polish question and a review of military problems arising in the “last lap” of the war.
But I am quite sure that no final result can be obtained until the heads of the three governments have met again together as I earnestly trust they may do before this year is at its end.
Mr. Churchill said the Allies believed they were on the “last lap” of the European war, but warned that “this is a race in which failure to exert the fullest effort to the end may protract that end.”
The present stage of the war is dour and hard, and fighting must be expected on all fronts to increase in scale and intensity.
Premier Churchill emphasized his strong feeling that responsibility for peace in the post-war era rests with the three great powers – Britain, America and Russia. “Other countries will be associated,” he said, “but the future depends on the union of the three most powerful allies.”
Mr. Churchill said he and Stalin achieved “very good working agreement” on policies relative to Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Hungary.
We have invited them to come together and form a united government for the purpose of carrying on the war. But these workaday arrangements must be looked upon as temporary expedients to meet an emergency. All permanent arrangements await the presence of the United States who have been constantly informed on what is going forward.
Understanding on Balkans
Mr. Churchill indicated strongly that he and Stalin achieved an understanding on spheres of Balkan influence.
The Prime Minister discussed the Polish issue, choosing his words with great care. He said it involved “two crucial issues” – the question of Polish frontiers and the relations of the London and Lublin Polish governments.
I wish I could tell the House that we had reached a solution of these problems. It certainly was not for want of trying. I am quite sure, however, that we have got a great deal nearer to it. I hope that Mikołajczyk [Prime Minister Stanisław Mikołajczyk] will soon return to Moscow and it will be a great disappointment to all sincere friends of Poland if a good arrangement cannot be made which will enable him to form a Polish government on Polish soil.
Frontier changes conceded
Mr. Churchill said of the frontier issue that it was hoped this “though it may not entirely coincide or correspond with the pre-war frontier of Poland will nevertheless be adequate for the needs of the Polish nation and not inferior in character and in quality, taking the picture as a whole, to what they had previously possessed.”
These are critical days and it would be a great pity if time were wasted in indecision or protracted negotiations. If the Polish government had taken the advice we tendered them at the beginning of this year, the additional complication produced by the formation of the Polish National Committee of Liberation at Lublin would never have arisen.
Mr. Churchill said that France would now resume “her rightful historic role upon the world stage” and that “France can by no means be excluded from discussions of the principal Allies dealing with the problem of the Rhine and the fate of Germany.”