The Secretary of President Wilson ( Tumulty ) to the Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Secretary: By the President’s direction, I am sending you herewith a communication left with him today by the new Minister of Finland. I also enclose a copy of the remarks made on this occasion by the Minister, as well as a copy of the President’s response thereto.

Sincerely yours,

J. P. Tumulty
[Enclosure 1—Translation]8

The Regent of Finland ( Mannerheim ) to President Wilson

Great and Good Friend: Highly desirous of manifesting to Your Excellency the importance I attach to the maintenance of friendly [Page 221] relations with the United States of North America, I have decided to accredit to Your Excellency, in the capacity of Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, Mr. Saastamoinen, Armas Herman, Chevalier of the Cross of Liberty, 2nd Class; Commander of the Cross, 1st Class, of the Order of the White Rose of Finland, etc., etc. The qualities that distinguish this agent, his experience, his tact, his zeal, give me the assurance that he will devote all his efforts to obtain the confidence and esteem of Your Excellency and of the Government of the United States and to meriting thus my approval. In this conviction I beg Your Excellency to receive him with good will and to place complete faith and credit in all that he tells you on my behalf, especially when he expresses to you, Dear and Great Friend, the assurances of my high esteem and of the deep interest I take in the prosperity of the United States of North America.

G. Mannerheim

Leo Ehrnrooth
[Enclosure 2]

Remarks of the Finnish Minister (Saastamoinen) on the Occasion of His Reception by President Wilson, August 21, 1919

Mr. President: I have the honor to tender to you, Mr. President, my letter of credence.

Being the first representative of Finland in the United States, I beg to express to you, Mr. President, the deep and sincere gratitude of the Finnish people for the recognition of our independence. We now feel that we have firm ground under our feet and although we are fully aware of the great difficulties ahead—owing to the general unrest in the world—we are confident that we will be able to overcome even the danger from the east with the help of friendly nations.

We are not only thankful to the United States for the recognition of our independence, but we are deeply grateful to this country for the magnificent aid we have received in the form of foodstuffs. I can say that we were saved from direct starvation by the timely assistance of the United States, and we will never forget this.

Mr. President. Although the official connections between Finland and the United States are very young, the intercourse between these two countries is in fact very old. The first Finns came to this country over two hundred and fifty years ago. They were among the first settlers in Delaware. Since that time there has been a considerable influx of Finns to this country and up to the present time several hundred thousand have made their homes here. This has created a lively intercourse between Finland and the United States [Page 222] and I can say that the new ideas and impressions which we have received from here have had markedly beneficial influence upon the people of Finland. This is not the least of our indebtedness to America.

Mr. President. I beg to assure you that my country wishes to establish and maintain the friendliest and most cordial relations with the United States and that no effort will be spared to win the confidence and sympathy of your country.

[Enclosure 3]

President Wilson’s Reply to the Remarks of the Finnish Minister ( Saastamoinen ) on the Occasion of His Reception, August 21, 1919

Mr. Minister: It gives me great satisfaction to receive from you the letters by which His Excellency, the President of Finland, accredits you as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Finland near the Government of the United States and I greet you Mr. Minister as the first representative of a new government destined to be a real factor in the solution of many of the problems which now confront the peoples of the world. One task to which we have set our hands has been accomplished in the successful conclusion of the greatest war in history and we can look forward with some degree of satisfaction to a future made better through our sacrifices.

The Government of the United States in recognizing Finland as a de facto independent government was prompted by sympathies for a cause similar to that which caused our own declaration of independence in 1776. We have gained in strength and prosperity and we are more than willing to share the results of our efforts with a people seeking to free themselves from a dominating power and to voice their own principles of self government.

As you say many Finns have sought homes in our broad territory and it is with much pleasure that I say to you that their coming has been our gain. They have helped our new and growing country by their industry and their zeal and many have become of the best of American citizens.

My entire sympathy is with the people of Finland and I gladly pledge to you my earnest cooperation in all that tends to advance the valued friendly relations and happy intercourse between the United States and Finland. I cannot but feel that any question which may hereafter arise affecting our common interests will be dealt with in an enlightened manner satisfactory to both governments.

[Page 223]

Mr. Minister may your stay in this Capital be fruitful in results and pleasant in the experience you will have with the officers of this Government who will be assiduous in their efforts to strengthen the relations so recently established.

  1. Supplied by the editor.