March 30, 2004 |
from pencilled diary kept by Anthony Eden
Oct 9-12, 1944 on his visit to Moscow.
Lord Avon papers, University of
Birmingham, file AP.20/3/09.
This is a GR war diary, 8+8pp, titled
"Moscow, Athens Oct - Nov 1944".
from Cairo to Moscow]
Monday Oct[ober] 9,
little late & was eventually woken
about 9 am by the steward
[aboard the York
Churchill] only person still
asleep. He soon woke up & we had an
excellent breakfast of cold pheasant &
white wine which he provided! Country
looked pleasant in the sunshine &
autumn colouring. [
triumphantly at wrong aerodrome some miles
from Moscow. Not very good. Pug considers
this journey provides many strong
arguments why Air Ministry should not
control Civil Aviation.
Half an hour later landed happily where
we should. Usual ceremonies at airport.
Maisky and Vishinski whisked me off to
Embassy while PM went to his Datcha which
neither of us had realised was 45 miles
Some talk with M & V who were
certainly friendly enough. Then joined W
at his Datcha in time for late luncheon.
Some time of plans then I went back &
had first meeting with Molotov. This was
friendly & easy, so was our first
meeting with U.J. after dinner. He agreed
that Mick [Mikolajczyk] should be
sent for and to have 'another try' to
settle Polish affairs.
W came back to Embassy for a drink
& we both went to our sleep much
Tuesday [October] 10th,
Moscow]: A pretty
trying day. After work at Embassy went to
luncheon at one Conference building --
terrible & interminable ceremony with
many speeches lasting until 4 p.m. or
later. No chance to eat anything & had
to drink in desperation. These things are
only bearable at night!
Meeting with Molotov at 6 p.m. It
didn't go well. I found difficulties over
Bulgaria & general attitude more
unyielding than last night. I didn't feel
in a good temper & did a good deal of
pretty rough complaining. This went on
until 9 p.m. when I found to my horror
that I was dining with W at his dacha
& not at his town house as I had
supposed. Therefore long drive & late
W rather upset by my report. I think he
thought I had dispelled good atmosphere he
had created night before. But I explained
this was the real battle and I could not
& would not give way.
Home late, to bed tired.
Wednesday [October] 11th,
] Molotov at 3 p.m. when
all was as smooth as it had been rough
yesterday & we obtained what we wanted
on almost all points. I should say 90%
over all. In particular they will summon
Jugoslav Bulgars out of Greece
& Jugoslavia tonight. Much better.
Harriman joined us for some discussion on
Hungary, then to conference room again for
vast reception feeling far more
Back to Embassy for a brief rest before
Our party arrived at 9 p.m. and dinner
went well. Fortunately we were able to get
through a part of it before the toasting
began. Quite a bit of talk with U.J. thro'
Pavlov who sat between us.
He was pretty outspoken in criticism of
Labour party as at present led. He also
maintained, as he has done before, that if
W & I had been in Govt. at Munich time
or in c/38 events would have been
different. We had some talk on Poles too,
on usual lines. Then he spoke of wine
& stores captured from the Germans in
the Crimea -- I suppose he meant stores of
Russian wine & offered me two bottles.
When I pleaded space in aircraft he said
it would be managed somehow!
Later we had long talk until 4 a.m. In
first phase Molotov & I & Averell
[Harriman] discussed Poland. Then
we all joined up and U.J. talked, I
thought, very good sense about Europe,
except Switzerland. In [illegible:
trimta?] I agreed with him more often
than W who is emotional in his approach to
foreign affairs. For instance he admitted
again tonight that his attitude to Italy
had been changed by the welcome the
cheering people had given him. He wasn't
pleased when U.J. said that they had
supported Mussolini all right.
Thursday [October] 12th,
until nearly noon. Some work then luncheon
with W alone at his town house. An
interminable meal of tepid meats & the
inevitable cold sucking pig, with soup
arriving somewhere near the end. W held
forth about kings, inveighed against
Papandreou, said he would take no more
interest in Greece, complained that we
were dropping Zog in Albania! etc. I
argued that it was impossible to regard
kings in most of these Balkan lands as
other than coming & going like a
Labour govt. at home. More argument about
France which didn't advance matters much,
-- the drip drip of water on a stone.
Long talk with Poles in evening. Was
puzzled by their apparent reluctance to
take over Govt. in Poland until whole
country was freed.
Website note: The above may contain
transcription errors. We will correct
these if notified. [notify].
above material has been researched by
David Irving for the third volume of his
Churchill biography, "Churchills
War", vol. iii: "The Sundered
conversations with Allied leaders October
14 - 17, 1944 | Stalin's
conversations with Eden and others, Oct