File No. 600.119/427

Memorandum of the Law Adviser for the Department of State ( Woolsey)

As a result of the conversations held between Mr. Balfour of the British mission and his assistants, and the Secretary of State and his assistants, it is the understanding of the United States Government that the British Government are agreeable to the following:1

In addition to the removal of all persons in the United States and its possessions from the black list (which has been done), all loyal Americans entitled to the protection of the United States and residing in neutral countries will also be removed from the black list as soon as possible.
The British Government will remove all American vessels from the black list of ships as soon as the Exports Control Bill becomes a law and is put in operation.
The British Government will relieve all American ships from the so-called “bunker conditions” or “bunker agreements” as soon as the existing agreements expire, if at that time the Exports Control Act has become law and is in operation.
As the United States Government gradually undertakes the issuance of export licenses in co-operation with the British Government, the latter will discontinue the practice of issuing letters of assurance to exporters from the United States.
The British and United States Governments mutually agree to the reciprocal removal from the ships of either country on the high seas of Germans or German reservists without prejudice to the principle involved.
The British Government and the United States Government are agreeable to a system of mutual rationing, whereby certain necessary articles required by either may be apportioned in accordance with the needs of (1) the Allies, including the United States, and (2) neutral countries. At present, the most important of such articles are:
Wool from Australia;
Pyrites from Portugal;
Jute burlap and bagging from Calcutta and London;
Ferro-manganese ore from India;
Manganese ore from India;
Rubber from the Far East and South America;
Tin from the Far East and London;
Plumbago and tin from the Straits Settlements and London;
Plumbago from Ceylon;
Antimony from Japan and China;
Gums and shellac from the East Indies and India.
The British and United States Governments will co-operate in working out and putting into operation a plan by which necessary articles, of which those named above are examples, may be dispatched directly to the United States from the countries of origin, instead of via England through the submarine war zones.
The British Government grant without reservation entire freedom of access now or after the war (with the liberty of making a copy of the whole or any part thereof if the United States so desires) to the commercial information regarding neutral and belligerent countries which has been accumulated by the British Government during the present war.
The British Government will order the prompt release of American goods of German origin now in neutral European countries which have been paid for and concerning which there is no element of fraud or bad faith. This statement, however, is not to be taken as an admission in any way by the United States of the legality of the British measures concerned in the detention of these goods.
The British Government heartily desire the full participation by the United States on the basis of equality in economic and other conferences of the Allies and their international commissions.
The United States will have an equal position with the Allies or any of them in any trade-after-war arrangements between the Allies themselves or between them and neutral countries.
Pending prize cases.1

  1. Note on document: “Draft: This has not been in fact agreed to. L. H. W.”
  2. This paragraph added in pencil.