S''Mr. Henderson, in his interesting review (November 24, 1961) of "Religion in the Soviet Union" attributes Stalin's enquiry as to the number of divisions the Pope had, to "a war-time conversation with Roosevelt".
Sir Winston Churchill, in "The Gathering Storm" (page 105) attributes this enquiry to a meeting in Moscow between Laval and Stalin in May, 1935. He writes of this meeting: "There were lengthy discussions, of which a fragment not hitherto published may be recorded . . .
". . . Laval said: 'Can't you do something to encourage religion and the Catholics in Russia? It would help me so much with the Pope.' Ohol' said Stalin. 'The Pope! How many divisions has he got?' Laval's answer was not reported to me. but he might certainly have mentioned a number of legions not always visible on parade." T. T. Dobson
The Old Vicarage, Farnsfield, Notts.