Transcript

The counterblast [to Churchill's speech] has come, but it is ostensibly directed only against Mr. Churchill personally. For once His Majesty's Government and official British foreign policy are spared although I doubt whether the Soviet public draws the distinction and is much comforted by this....

2. Pravda, only paper appearing today, carried on the back page a two and a half column summary of Mr. Churchill's speech which is on the whole fair and full …

4. Most significant omission however was Mr Churchill's reference to his unavailing warnings before the war [when Churchill warned of the dangers of Hitler and opposed Appeasement]. This is replaced by comment that he made 'monstrous comparisons' [ie comparing the USSR in the 1940s with Germany in the 1930s]. His reference to Russian admiration of strength was also dismissed as a cynical statement designed to support his propaganda for an Anglo-American alliance.....

5. On the front page Pravda carries a two and a half column editorial entitled "Churchill rattles the sabre [threatens war]" bitterly attacking his speech. He is accused of having concealed his true views during the war and now returned to his old prejudices against the Soviet Union and the bogey of Bolshevik expansion dating from the time when he was a leading foreign interventionist. His conception of an Anglo-American military alliance is castigated as a reactionary plot against the Soviet Union, which would mean the end of the Big Three and of the United Nations Organisation.

6. The Pravda article has caused a sensation in Moscow. It is being read everywhere with unusual interest and there is considerable disquiet among the general public. Mr Churchill had been built up here during and after the war as a friend of Stalin and the Soviet Union and he enjoyed the sincere regard and indeed affection of the Soviet public.

7. My own impression is that the Soviet authorities were much taken aback by this frank statement by Churchill. They seem genuinely alarmed by many recent signs of American rapprochement with Britain …

Finally a gigantic red herring of this is of the greatest help with the Soviet public and possibly also with public opinion in directing attention from Persia, and Manchuria.... In effect Churchill's speech is being used, to justify the warnings about capitalist encirclement contained in recent Soviet propaganda and more particularly in the election speeches here.