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Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Extracts 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".

[The flight from Cairo to Moscow]


Monday Oct[ober] 9, [1944… Moscow]: Slept little late & was eventually woken about 9 am by the steward [aboard the York airplane]. W [Winston 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. […] Landed 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 away.

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 cheered.

Tuesday [October] 10th, [1944… 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 dinners.

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, [1944… Moscow]: […] 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 [deleted:] Greeks & 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 cheerful.

Back to Embassy for a brief rest before dinner.

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' [interpreter] 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.

Bed exhausted.

Thursday [October] 12th, [1944… Moscow]: Slept 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.


[End of Moscow entries].

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The above material has been researched by David Irving for the third volume of his Churchill biography, "Churchill’s War", vol. iii: "The Sundered Dream."

Stalin's conversations with Allied leaders October 14 - 17, 1944 | Stalin's conversations with Eden and others, Oct 15, 1944

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