Roosevelt and Hopkins, an Intimate History

By Robert E. Sherwood | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXXII
Beginnings of Dissensionyy

It is not improbable that one of the factors in restoring Hopkins to his former position with Roosevelt was the Morgenthau Plan episode. Roosevelt admitted that he had yielded to the importunities of an old and loyal friend when he affixed his initials to this document, and this was precisely the kind of thing against which Hopkins—who was no respecter of old friendships—was practiced in protecting him. Hopkins had agreed with Stimson and Hull on the general outline for treatment of Germany and would have been quick to detect the dangerous implications in the Morgenthau Plan, and Roosevelt realized this and was sorry that he had not taken Hopkins with him to Quebec. Of far greater importance, however, was an incident early in October in connection with a cable to Stalin which had consequences of very considerable importance. The background of this incident was as follows:

By October 1, both Finland and Bulgaria had quit the Axis and the Red Army had occupied both countries. The Russians had advanced over most of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and across Poland as far as the Vistula; they had advanced into Hungary and Yugoslavia, and had reached the frontiers of Greece and Turkey. British forces had landed in Greece. The question of control over Southeastern Europe now presented a problem of pressing urgency and Churchill was naturally so concerned about it that he felt that another Big Three conference must be held without a moment's delay. Obviously, it was difficult for Roosevelt to embark on a long journey in the midst of a political campaign, but Churchill took the unassailable position that the advancing Russians were not going to wait until the returns were in from Michigan, South Dakota and Oregon, and he suggested that he and Eden should proceed to Moscow immediately and try to arrive at an understanding with Stalin and Molotov in respect to the delimitation of "spheres of influence" in the Balkan area. This proposal worried Hopkins a great deal, for he believed that, if such a conference were to be held with no

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