File No. 600.119/286

The Commercial Adviser of the British Embassy ( Crawford ) to the Counselor for the Department of State ( Polk )

My Dear Mr. Counsellor: On thinking over your suggestion this morning that we should put on record any points which seem to us to be still outstanding from our discussions on war trade matters, in order that it may be possible to clear such points up before the departure of the mission, the situation seems to be as follows:

The subjects discussed fall into three classes:

1. The demands to be made on neutrals both in regard to shipping and in regard to their exports to the Allies and to our enemies. We have already sufficiently explained our difficulties and the ways in which you can help us. We can only leave you to evolve your own [Page 872] policy from these data. We shall doubtless furnish you from time to time with fresh suggestions as to the directions in which we think further pressure might be applied and we stand ready to tell you anything you wish to know in the course of your negotiations with neutrals. But for the moment there seems to be little more to discuss.

2. Trading with the enemy. Here there is some divergence between our respective views, though in practice that divergence will probably prove to be not so great as discussions of principle or of our past practice may seem to indicate. We have agreed that there shall be an examination into the facts by an American representative in London who will be appointed as soon as possible, and pending this, I hardly think that further verbal discussions would be of much use.

The question of the machinery necessary to a system of export restrictions in this country has, I think, been fully discussed. What remains to be worked out can be worked out by the Embassy and the competent departments here as time goes on, and the mission need hardly concern itself further with the details.

3. There remains the question of bunker and coal policy. Here we have put to you two alternatives, and we have communicated to you a copy of new draft bunker conditions which we should like you to join us in adopting if you decide to accept the alternative of full co-operation. What we should like to do before the mission goes is—

To go through with you these draft conditions, in order to explain them and point out the respects in which we are prepared to modify them if you wish, and
To explain the machinery necessary for the proper enforcement of any bunker policy. This will largely be a question of administrative detail, and we can either communicate our information—copies of our rules and forms, etc.—to you, or we can take it up with any department or official you may designate.

If we can have these discussions, I think we shall have unburdened ourselves of the information and suggestions which the mission came to bring, and the rest can be left by the mission for subsequent consultation between you and the Embassy when you have decided on the policy you are prepared to adopt and have acquired the powers to carry it out.

If you can appoint a time for these discussions, we might perhaps take the opportunity of talking over a little more fully and finally the appointment of the various American representatives who are to take up in detail in London the complicated questions which the mission has only been able to raise and explain in principle during their visit here.

Yours sincerely,

R. Crawford