Information on the "percentages" agreement between Churchill and Stalin, 9 October 1944


From: Donal O'Sullivan <dosullivan@web.de>

Unfortunately I am not able to help you out with the exact
location of the Churchill-Stalin meeting on 9 October 1944, whether the
meeting took place in the Kremlin or the British residence. However I can
help with the so-called percentages agreement, having researched the topic
recently for my study of Soviet foreign policy.

Churchill did not disclose the discussion on spheres of interest
until he was out of office und published his memoirs. These constituted
the primary source for many years. It was assumed that Churchill had
destroyed the sheet of paper. Indeed, Norman Davies, in his history of
Europe, wrote: "The "naughty document", as Churchill called it, has not
survived in the public section of Britian's Public Record Office, and its
existence has been questioned.". Davies, Norman: Europe. A History, Oxford
1996, p. 1037.

On the contrary, Churchill's percentages paper has survived in the
PRO, in the English as well as the Russian version, written down by V.
Pavlov, Stalin's interpreter. Both are identical. The copy that
researchers are allowed to see clearly shows the pencil tick of Stalin in
the corner. The document is contained in PRO, PREM 3/66/7, and is
available on request.

It might be of related interest that the official account of the
meeting for the FO files was edited by Churchill. For example, here is a
paragraph that Churchill did not want to appear in the official record (FO
800/302):

"PM then produced what he called a 'naughty document' showing a
list of Balkan countries and the proportion of interest in them of the
Great Powers. He said that the Americans would be shocked if they saw how
crudely he had put it. Marshal Stalin was a realist. He himself was not
sentimental while Mr. Eden was a bad man. He had not consulted his cabinet
or Parliament. The PM declared that Britain had been much offended by
Bulgaria. In the last war the Bulgarians had been beaten badly and had
cruelly attacked the Roumanians. In this war they had done the same to the
Yugoslavs and Greece."

Donal O'Sullivan
Visiting Assistant Professor
Claremont McKenna College
Claremont, California