The Atlantic Conference : Introduction
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[The following account of the arrangements for the August 1941 meeting between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill is based on notes in the Hyde Park Library dictated by the President on August 23, 1941, for historical purposes:

When Harry Hopkins went to England as the President's personal representative in January 1941, he was told to express the President's hope to the Prime Minister that they could meet some day to talk over the problem of the defeat of Germany. Before Hopkins could deliver the message, the Prime Minister expressed exactly the same thought to Hopkins. The date mentioned at that time was March or April, and the places mentioned were Bermuda and Newfoundland. However, the President, on account of pending legislation, found it impossible to get away from Washington until April, and by that time the Prime Minister was prevented from leaving by the war in Greece- and later by the war in Crete.

The trip was mentioned again in May and June, and was finally decided upon in late July (when Hopkins was in England on his second mission). The date of actual rendezvous was set for August 8, 9, or 10, and Argentia Harbor off Placentia Bay in Newfoundland was selected as the meeting place.

The President was notified that the Prime Minister would said from Scotland on H.M.S. Prince of Wales on August 4 and would be accompanied by Admiral Pound, General Dill, Air Marshal Freeman, and Harry Hopkins. The President in turn notified the Prime Minister that he would bring Admiral Stark, General Marshall, and General Arnold. When the Prime Minister later sent word that he would bring the Permanent Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Sir Alexander Cadogan, the President decided to bring the Under Secretary of State, Sumner Welles, and Averell Harriman (who had just flown back to Washington from London where he had been sent to expedite Lend Lease).


(1) The record here given covers the political aspects of the Conference in which Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles participated as the representative of the Department of State. For an account of the military discussions, see Department of the Army, United States Army in World War II. The War Department, Chief of Staff: Prewar Plans and Preparations by Mark Skinner Watson (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1950), pp. 400 ff. Back

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