File No. 800.88/144

The Chargé in Great Britain ( Laughlin) to the Secretary of State


10248. For Crosby and Leffingwell from Cravath:

No. 308. British War Cabinet has approved plan recommended by Allied Maritime Council and our Council that inter-Allied program-making committee be promptly organized for every important class of purchases and imports, the existing organizations to be utilized so far as practicable. The British, French and Italians join in urging our Government be represented on each committee by representatives who will have same authority to join in recommendations as representatives of the Allied Governments. Situation presented fully in a cable of this date from Stevens in which I heartily concur.1 You will receive copy.

I fully concur in Stevens’ recommendation respecting our Government’s representation upon the committees and the character of that representation. At no time have I been so strongly impressed with the importance of our Government being represented in each organization which controls or influences inter-Allied activities affecting [Page 575] the conduct of the war. The difficulties in the way of effective cooperation between the British, French and Italians have never been greater than now. They all look to the American representatives to take leading part in preventing misunderstandings and in coordinating efforts. I regard this as the most important function of the American representatives; therefore, there should be upon each committee an American representative who has the necessary position, experience, tact and other personal qualities for this rather difficult and delicate task. These qualities are more important than mere technical attainments, which can be furnished by technical advisers, although of course preferable that, so far as practicable, all the qualities be combined in same man. Crosby with his intimate knowledge of conditions here is in a position to advise regarding the extent to which the same man can effectively sit on two or more of the committees, dealing with subjects which can be grouped together. Stevens suggests that copy of this cable go to Hurley, Gay, McCormick and Hoover.

  1. Apparently referring to the telegram, supra, dated May 25, transmitted by the Chargé in Great Britain.