§ 29. Mr. Purbrick
asked the Secretary of State for Air if he will publish the congratulatory message that he received on or about 16th May from the Soviet Ambassador on the glorious part played by our Bomber Command in forging the victory.
§ Mr. H. Macmillan
I assume that my hon. Friend is referring to the message addressed by Marshal Stalin to the Royal Air Force as a whole. That message and my predecessor's reply were communicated to the Press on 16th May. They have also been published to the Service in an Air Ministry Order. I am circulating the full texts in the Official Report.
§ Captain Cobb
Can my right hon. Friend say whether this message has also been widely published throughout the whole of Russia?
§ The messages are as follow:
From the Soviet Ambassador, Monsieur F. T. Gousev:I have the honour, on behalf of Marshal J. V. Stalin and my own, to express to you and to the valiant Royal Air Force sincere congratulations on the great victory over our common enemy—German Imperialism. Allow me to express to you my hope that the friendly co-operation between the peoples of Great Britain and the U.S.S.R., built up during the course of the war, will be successfully and happily maintained and developed in the post-war period.
Sir Archibald Sinclair replied:It is a great pleasure to receive your letter of yesterday, and on behalf of the Royal Air Force I thank you and Marshal Stalin for your congratulations. I share to the full your hope that the war-time comradeship between the peoples of Britain and Russia will ripen into a firm and lasting friendship. In that friendship, the mutual respect between the airmen of the Royal Air Force and those of the glorious Red Army will be a strong element.