INT: Do you want a drink of water?
(Consultation re: time left, etc)
INT: What impact did Roosevelt's death have?
FL: Well, of course it was a shock; nobody had ... or few people, anyway, had been aware of how ill he was; although later it was found out already he was not very well at Yalta. And Truman had no real background, so it was rather frightening. But the first impact was a kind of gathering round to support and help Truman, understanding that he had been thrown into this situation. There were a number of things that he didn't know, that were agreements found in Roosevelt's private papers, that he had made with Stalin, including the one about the two extra seats in the United Nations: Ukraine and Byelorussia. And the only Western person alive who could say this is true or not true was Charles Bolan, a former ambassador at that time, who had served as the interpreter between Roosevelt and Stalin. And Truman did keep to all of those agreements, but they came as a shock, and so... it did worry people. But there was a sense that... and I believe... Of course, Churchill was no longer prime minister either; he had been replaced while they were at Potsdam. Well, Truman went to Potsdam, so... Churchill left after Roosevelt's death and once Truman was president, but it was a matter of weeks between the two. But there was a sense of need to... to help get the Americans over this hiatus.
INT: Was there much confidence that the United Nations could do what it was set up to do?
FL: Well, there was understanding from the beginning that it could only really work if the major powers managed to accommodate each other. They were never expected to be in love with each other, but that if the conflicts were not too big, it could work; if they were, it couldn't. But none the less, there was a tremendous euphoria in San Francisco. One of the most important influences on the whole founding of the United Nations, which everybody was very keenly aware of, was the failure of the League of Nations, so a great many of the provisions and a great many of the decisions that were made in setting up the United Nations, was to try to correct what were felt to be the most serious faults of the League, including, of the greatest importance, keeping the United States in; and that was... there was a big argument here in London later at Westminster House, where the first United Nations meetings were held after the Charter in San Francisco, [about] where the... where the seat should be, and most of the opinion, most of the countries really wanted Geneva. But in the end, New York won on the argument that it would be more... a better guarantee that the United States would stay in, and that was considered such an important consideration, to be sure you didn't repeat the post-First World War experience of the United States isolation... and because also at that time the American army was demobilising at a fantastic rate: in less than a year they went down from 12 million to something like one million, so there was a real concern in Europe that the United States was on... sliding back into an isolationist mode, and that was the decisive argument for putting the United Nations in New York.
INT: I'll stop you there.
INT: I'll ask you three general questions that we always ask our witnesses to comment on. Was the Cold War inevitable?
FL: Probably, given the characters and the ambitions. It needn't have gone the way it did; it could have turned into a hot war - that was never an impossibility. There were many moments when you couldn't be sure beforehand. It could have been less severe; there could have been a little more accommodation. But I think probably, given the characters and given the history, that there would be this period of confrontation, yes, it probably was.
INT: How responsible would you think someone like Dulles was for keeping things going in the Fifties?
FL: Well, he certainly intensified it, and he had this crusader's religious streak. He used to talk about, for him neutrality was amoral... immoral, rather, immoral, and there was the good and the bad. He didn't make very much effort to under... to analyse it in terms of interests, so that added to the intensity on both sides.
INT: What do you think the effect of the Cold War was?
FL: The effect? It had an enormous effect - it changed everything. It made for the arms build-up, it made for the box, and the... what now has come to be known as the Third World, the colonies which... it speeded decolonisation, certainly, because it got a lot of... the liberation movements got a lot of support from the communist countries, and therefore increased the polarisation, making the decolonisation process a strategic confrontation, so that how many of these countries got their launch and began to operate and are still having to operate, was very much affected by it. Certainly the whole of Eastern Europe was deeply affected by it; would not at all have gone in the direction that they did and that they're having such a terribly difficult time working their way out of... now they've only begun; it will take another generation. It had to do, certainly, with several hot wars, more or less hot proxy wars, such as Vietnam, such as Korea, such as Afghanistan, such as... not Algeria maybe, but it had an additional effect in making the Algerian war more difficult. It had an... it was an enormous, enormous influence, that hardly any part of the world escaped.
INT: What impact do you think it had on Western Europe?
FL: Well, it was certainly an element in the formation of Europe as an enterprise, as a project, European Common Market, European Union. NATO was developed because of the sense of Soviet danger, of cold war. I think it has evolved a good deal from that, but this... this polarisation, this "us or them" had a great deal to do with the way Western Europe developed. Jean Monnet was certainly on that line and wanting to pursue it anyway, but he probably couldn't have succeeded except for the sense ocold war threat and the need to consolidate, and above all the need to reconcile France and Germany, in order... that was the need, from his point of view, under any circumstances, but it would probably not have succeeded without the additional sense of need to confront an outside danger.
INT: How important was a figure like Adenauer?
FL: Tremendously important, tremendously important. He was detethat West Germany must remain in the West. He certainly wanted reunification, but never at the price of communist control of the country. He has been criticised by German historians for refusing to consider Stalin's lures to offer reunification for neutrality, for neutralisation of Germany, because he felt that was a dangerous slide towards possible eventual communist control. I think people have forgotten now the importance... the appeal of communism in the early post-war period. The French party, the Italian party were very strong indeed, and it was by no means so self-evident as a lot of people think now, with hindsight, that that would be terrible and must be resisted. There were two really quite distinct parts. There was a concern of Soviet military threat, that at first was no doubt exaggerated because they were much weaker at the end of the war than the West appreciated, but there came a very considerable build-up, and then they got the atomic bomb early, much earlier, through espionage. But the second part of it was the political appeal, and that appeal was very important in West European politics.
INT: Why do you think communism had that appeal?
FL: Well, it's a kind of utopianism. It... in... if you look only at the theory, egalitarianism, justice - they say - that instead of money making all decisions, social justice should be the deciding point, and so on, in... in the abstract, these are quite appealing notions. It's just that when they went to do it, they bash you on the head.
INT: What impact did the Cold War have on American society?
FL: Well, also considerable, because for nearly half a century the United States felt it had an enemy, they had a hostile opposite number, and that affected a great many things: it affected domestic politics to a dramatic degree, as well as foreign policy and military policy.