18 November 1943, No. 200
November 18, 1943. Written after the Moscow Conference of Foreign Ministers, Wilgress reiterates the two main issues plaguing Soviet policy at the time: ending the war in order to ease pressure on the Soviet economy and being on equal footing with the United States and United Kingdom in international affairs. Wilgress reviews Soviet relations since May 1942 to try to understand why, in November 1943, the Soviets wanted so badly to create a productive relationship with the Western allies at the Moscow Conference. As the Soviets perceived increasingly anti-Soviet opinions in the West, Wilgress argues that they grew more defensive and isolated. Events seemed to confirm Soviet suspicions of their allies, especially as Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt isolated themselves from Stalin. Nonetheless, Wilgress is convinced that the Conference would assuage Western fears of Soviet belligerency. According to Wilgress, the Soviets’ primary concern was “a long period of international peace and tranquility” to allow the Soviet Union’s regeneration in the wake of the war. This appreciation demonstrates that the Canadian view was not completely subservient to US and British attitudes. The Canadians in Moscow carefully analysed and considered the developing situation from a position on the periphery of Big Three conferences, arguably affording them a more objective position.