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PRIMARY DOCUMENTS  |  Provoked by Pearl Harbor: The White House Meetings of FDR and Churchill, December, 1941
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Activities: II. Inside the White House  |  Back to Activity


J. Churchill to Roosevelt: A light moment


On my return to the White House all was ready for the signature of the United Nations Pact. Many telegrams had passed between Washington, London, and Moscow, but now all was settled. The President had exerted his most fervent efforts to persuade Litvinov, the Soviet Ambassador, newly restored to favour by the turn of events, to accept the phrase “religious freedom”. He was invited to luncheon with us in the President’s room on purpose. After his hard experiences in his own country he had to be careful. Later on the President had a long talk with him alone about his soul and the dangers of hell-fire. The accounts which Mr. Roosevelt gave us on several occasions of what he said to the Russian were impressive. Indeed, on one occasion I promised Mr. Roosevelt to recommend him for the position of Archbishop of Canterbury if he should lose the next Presidential election. I did not however make any official recommendation to the Cabinet or the Crown upon this point, and as he won the election in 1944 it did not arise. Litvinov reported the issue about “religious freedom” in evident fear and trembling to Stalin, who accepted it as a matter of course. The War Cabinet also got their point in it about “social security”, with which, as the author of the first Unemployment Insurance Act, I cordially concurred. After a spate of telegrams had flowed about the world for a week agreement was reached throughout the Grand Alliance.


The Grand Alliance, pp. 604-605





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