Percentages agreement

Churchill called it a “naughty document”.[5]

Regarding its import, Gabriel Kolko writes:

There is little significance to the memorable and dramatic passage in Churchill’s autobiography recalling how he and Stalin divided Eastern Europe … Stalin’s “tick,” translated into real words, indicated nothing whatsoever. The very next day Churchill sent Stalin a draft of the discussion, and the Russian carefully struck out phrases implying the creation of spheres of influence, a fact Churchill excluded from his memoirs. Eden assiduously avoided the term, and considered the understanding merely as a practical agreement on how problems would be worked out in each country, and the very next day he and Molotov modified the percentages in a manner which Eden assumed was general rather than precise.[8]

Geoffrey Roberts says similarly of the agreement: “It’s a good story but, like so many of Churchill’s tales, the lily was somewhat gilded.”[9]

Henry Butterfield Ryan states, however, that “Eden and Molotov haggled over these quantities as though they were bargaining over a rug in a bazaar, with Molotov trying, eventually successfully, to trim Britain’s figures.”[2]

Stalin did keep to his promise about Greece, but did not keep his promise for Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary, which became one-party communist states with no British influence. Yugoslavia became a non-aligned communist state with very limited Soviet or British influence. Britain supported the Greek government forces in the civil war but the Soviet Union did not assist the communist guerrillas.[10]

A draft of the agreement, which was yet to be made in 1944, appeared under strange circumstances when it was supposedly intercepted in 1943 and fell into the hands of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco’s secret service. This was mentioned by General Jordana, in a famous speech he gave in April 1943 in Barcelona.[11]

via Percentages agreement

Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
%d bloggers like this: