AUGUST 2, 1945
NEW YORK, Wednesday—On Sunday the papers carried a rather interesting picture of the new Big Three—Marshal Stalin, President Truman and Prime Minister Attlee, and underneath was the picture of the Big Three as it existed at the time of the Yalta conference—Marshal Stalin, my husband and Prime Minister Churchill.
As I looked at the picture I realized what great differences now exist at the very top in international negotiations. The three men who met at Yalta had watched the war approach, had met its first crises, had had an opportunity to know and to weigh each other's judgment and performance.
At first I am quite sure that, where both the British and the Americans were concerned, there must have been considerable suspicion on the part of the Soviet government. But that gradually began to wear away as the individuals came to know each other better.
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These three went through many difficult times together. Russia was invaded on her homeland. When Pearl Harbor Day arrived, almost immediately there came a message that Prime Minister Churchill was flying across the seas in order that he and my husband might discuss together the next steps to be taken. Prime Minister Churchill was in Washington when Tobruk fell. It was a very terrible blow to the British. He showed his metal in a remarkable way. Never for one minute acknowledging the fact that the British might meet ultimate defeat in Africa, he simply went to work with my husband and discussed what they could do to minimize the blow.
Through the bad days of the war, these three men came to know each other well, and I rather think that it is going through times of adversity together which gives you the deep trust and assurance that you know another individual. Enjoying people's company, having good times together cements friendship; finding mutual interests and enjoying the same things are great bonds. But meeting the great crises when fear and sorrow engulf you is what makes for complete trust and devotion among men.
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The times are not so hard now, and the new Big Three will have a longer period in which to build personal as well as official relationships. Changes may come more swiftly in their group, now that the war in Europe is over, and perhaps there never will be the same kind of personal bonds among these new men at the heads of our nations as existed among the first Big Three. Yet working together to meet the problems of peace will require the development of personal as well as official relationships, and we can only hope that no barriers will be put in the way of their development.