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24 April 1946

April 24, 1946. This is the culmination of Wilgress’ years of careful and keen observation in the Soviet Union: a Canadian response to George Kennan’s “Long Telegram” of February 1946. Wilgress confirms the Canadian embrace of the American tough school. He identified Soviet foreign policy as primarily one of “bluffing.” He criticizes apologists of Soviet expansionism, and shifts decisively towards the US view of the Soviets as cunning and calculating. Previously, Wilgress had been willing to acknowledge Soviet claims of self-defence but now believes its actions are characteristic of a country “bent on aggression." By April 1946, the Canadians in Moscow had grown assured of Soviet expansionism and desire for international instability. As such, Wilgress now saw the division of the world into two camps as inevitable—“one is dynamic and the other is static,” with the former being Western democracy and the latter Soviet communism. The “true nature” of the Soviet Union’s leadership had been revealed as defensive and autocratic. The appropriate response is to dispose of appeasement and adopt a “policy of firmness” in partnership with the United States.