U.S. State Department (December 27, 1943)
Moscow, 27 December 
Personal and secret for the President from Harriman.
At a meeting with Molotov last night he gave me a memorandum in reply to the memorandum you handed Stalin at Teheran asking for action on the proposals presented by the United States Delegation at the Moscow conference concerning use of air bases for shuttle bombing, communications, etc., paraphrase of which follows:
There is no objection in principle, as was indicated previously from the Soviet side, to the granting of air bases in the territory of the USSR for American military airplanes for the purpose of carrying out the shuttle bombing of Germany. The organization of such bases, however, and the use of the appropriate airdromes for this purpose must be coordinated with the plans of the Command of the military Air Force of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Air Force Command will be instructed for this purpose to begin preliminary conversations on the above question with the appropriate military representatives in Moscow with the subsequent consideration of this question by the Soviet High Command. It goes without saying that there will be made available, after a definite decision of the question concerning the organization of air bases from the Russian side, all necessary information concerning weather related to the operation of shuttle bombing.
With regard to the establishment of air communications between the USSR and the United States along the Moscow-Teheran-Washington route, there is no objection from the Soviet side to the renewal of conversations on this question between representatives of the Chief Administration of the Civil Air Fleet of the USSR and the corresponding American representatives at Moscow for the conclusion of an agreement on a reciprocal basis. December 25, 1943.
Molotov also gave me a preliminary reply to the two other memoranda you handed Marshal Stalin at Teheran concerning advance planning in the North West Pacific for Naval operations and for air operations. Reading from a paper he made the following statement orally which he preferred not to give me in writing:
Under point A of the President’s memorandum concerning Naval operations in the Pacific the Soviet Government is prepared to utilize existing facilities to obtain intelligence information concerning Japan and to make such information available to the United States authorities through the United States Military Mission in Moscow.
With reference to weather information referred to in the President’s memorandum concerning air operations in the Pacific the Soviet Government agrees to furnish the necessary supplementary information concerning the weather in the Far East. Instructions to this effect will be relayed to the Soviet Meteorological Services and information will be exchanged through the United States Military Mission in Moscow or through such other channels as the American Government may prefer. This exchange of information is to be on a reciprocal basis.
[In] Regard to the other questions contained in the President’s memoranda, certain of these questions, because of their importance and complexity require more time for study by the Soviet Government. Others for reasons which the American Government will understand it is difficult for the Soviet Government to give affirmative answers to at the present time.
In making this statement Mr. Molotov said he desired to emphasize the words “at the present time.”
I thereupon said I knew you would be glad to learn that the Soviet Government was ready to begin cooperation in regard to the Pacific war. I pointed out, however, that Marshal Stalin had indicated to you at Teheran that it was of equal importance to the Soviet Union as to the United States to bring the war against Japan to a successful conclusion at the earliest date. Molotov interrupted me to say that Stalin had made this quite clear.
I explained further in considerable detail the need for immediate planning in order to make possible the achievement of Stalin’s objectives.
Molotov appeared to accept the validity of my statement and indicated that the subject was being actively studied.
Marshal Stalin, however, had just gone to the front and I do not expect to get any further reply for some days.