The views of Vice President Henry A. Wallace cannot be labeled as the views of the U.S. Government. His unique position in the Administration leaves him free to express opinions which a President or a Secretary of State could not publicly state. Last week he stated such an opinion.
"We shall decide some time in 1943 or 1944," he said, "whether to plant the seeds of World War III. That war will be cer tain if we allow Prussia to rearm either materially or psychologically. That war will be probable in case we double-cross Russia. . . . Unless the Western democracies and Russia come to a satisfactory understanding before the war ends, I very much fear that World War III will be inevitable."
Exactly what the Vice President meant by "double-cross" was not clear. The context of the speech suggested that he meant there might be a reaction in the U.S. after the war which would make the U.S. fascist and anti-Russian. But even without clear definition of his meaning, it was all too clear from what the Vice President said that the U.S. has no real understanding with Russia on postwar issues.
In Britain the Wallace speech was warmly praised. It closely paralleled the views of the London Times (see col. 1). Said the Manchester Guardian: "There is a hundred times more anti-Russian feeling in the United States now than there is in this country, and much more tolerance for fascist systems of government. That is, of course, why Mr. Wallace made the speech."
There was no comment in Russia, but Russian newspapers printed the speech. Perhaps the best indication of the reception of the speech and the mood of the Kremlin was the friendly Russian reaction to some other words, not so favorable to Russia.