The Pittsburgh Press (April 29, 1943)
Impression grows Russia intends to map post-war borders, a situation Senate would oppose
By William Philip Simms, Scripps-Howard staff writer
The crisis now involving Russia, Poland, Finland and Eastern Europe is doing great damage to American plans for post-war collaboration with the United Nations.
The impression is growing here that Moscow now fully intends to have its own way with the territory, governments and peoples of Eastern Europe and the Balkans, regardless of Washington or London. If that is true, there is little or no chance that the U.S. Senate will ratify any subsequent treaty which would commit it to the policing of frontiers thus drawn.
With considerable reluctance, many here are coming to believe that a new European balance of power is in the making, with Russia and Great Britain dominating the scene.
Senate would reject role
A new European balance of power would leave the United States on the outside looking in. Doubtless we would be invited to “collaborate” in such a setup. But if we accepted, our role would be pretty much that of the signer of a blank check. We would have little if anything to do with major decisions. Our job would be to help shoulder the consequences if and when they turned sour. Such a role the Senate almost certainly would turn down.
It was the often-inspired London Times which, some six weeks ago, tossed up the first straw showing which way at least one breeze was blowing. For quite some time there had been rumors, both here and abroad, that Britain might eventually be coerced into yielding to the Soviet Union in the matter of Eastern European frontiers. Then came the London editorial.
Can make decisions stick
The sole interest of Russia is to assure that her outer defenses are in sure hands. And this interest will be best served if the lands between her frontiers and those of Germany are held by governments and peoples friendly to herself… That is one condition on which Russia must and will insist.
Russia, the paper went on to observe, will be in a position after the war to make her decisions stick. But (inasmuch as the peace of Europe will devolve chiefly on Britain and the Soviet Union) it will make all the differences in future Anglo-Russian relations whether Britain freely concedes these things or whether they “are grudgingly accepted as a fait accompli after victory is won.”
Britain’s other task, it added, was to interpret all this to the United States – that is, explain why it is necessary to abandon the little nations of Eastern Europe to their fate.
Urge world organization
It is well understood here that some sort of post-war organization is necessary if there is to be any peace. An Anglo-Russian balance of power might well do the trick for a time. But what the leaders of the grand alliance have been proclaiming all along is that what is wanted is a world organization – a new system of collective security in which Russia, the British Commonwealth of Nations, China and the United Nations would take the lead.
Meeting of three urged
Therefore, it is said here with some feeling, it is high time President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill and Premier Stalin got together. It is tragically clear that some kind of understanding among them is both urgent and imperative.
As matters now stand, at least one of the major partners of the United Nations is threatening action which, if taken, would almost certainly destroy all hope of a worldwide peace organization, for inquiries here clearly reveal that if Europe or ay other part of the world is to be split up and partitioned by the arbitrary act of any individual nation, the United States will never become a party to any collective treaty of enforcement.