Roosevelt and Hopkins, an Intimate History

By Robert E. Sherwood | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVI
The Atlantic Conference

When the launch delivered Hopkins to Admiral Sir John Tovey, Commander in Chief of the Home Fleet, at Scapa Flow, it was feared that President Roosevelt's personal representative might not live long enough to make his report from the Kremlin. Hopkins seemed to be not only at the end of his rope but at the end of the last filament of the spider's web by which he was hanging on to life. Winant had come from London to Scapa Flow and Hopkins managed to stay up for dinner with the Ambassador and the Admiral, but then he started to wilt and Tovey ordered him to bed, having summoned all the medical skill that was available to drug him into the sleep that he so desperately needed. Hopkins asked Winant to "wait until I've had a little rest." Winant went to Hopkins' cabin in the morning and sat by his bed for an hour, but when Hopkins awakened the following afternoon Winant had gone back to London. ( Harriman had already arrived in Washington, having left England the day Hopkins took off for Moscow.)

Churchill arrived aboard the Prince of Wales, bringing with him his Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Pound and General Dill. Air Marshal Portal could not go along, for some reason, so the R.A.F. was represented by the Vice-Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sir Wilfrid Freeman. Churchill left General Ismay behind "to keep the shop open," but brought with him Sir Alexander Cadogan, Permanent Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Lord Cherwell (the "Prof"), Colonel L. C. Hollis (Assistant Secretary of the War Cabinet), Commander Thompson and J. M. Martin, Principal Private Secretary, as well as various staff officers of the three services.

Hopkins was given the Admiral's cabin on the Prince of Wales, but later asked to be moved from it, saying that "the ship's propellers are a bit too close to my eardrums." During the trip across the North

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