File No. 800.88/142

The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in Great Britain ( Laughlin)1


184. For Sheldon [from War Trade Board]:

No. 826. Referring to Embassy’s 10246, May 25, and subsequent cablegrams on the same subject, the following is the full text of a plan which has been approved by the President for the formulation and execution of common programmes for the Associated Governments and it is hoped that this plan will be adopted by these Governments.

The Government of the United States recognizes that in addition to military and naval action a careful coordination is necessary between the Governments now associated in the war against Germany in finance, shipping, export and import relations, foodstuffs, raw materials and manufactured or partly manufactured products, exclusive of foodstuffs.

The activities which should be grouped under each of these heads are at present organized in the several Governments, where in each field ministers are charged with the formulation of national programmes. Responsibility for the formulation and execution of a common programme for the Associated Governments will naturally be vested in these ministers. By “ministers” is meant the departmental heads responsible directly to the President or the ministries of the respective Governments, whether called ministers, secretaries, departmental heads, chairmen of boards, or by whatever title.

The Government of the United States agrees that where the subject matter to be dealt with is intricate, voluminous, or in need of continuous attention, the several ministers should appoint representatives to sit upon joint committees or “executives “charged with making studies upon which the ministers are to formulate a common programme, and that these committees or “executives” should be charged with the carrying out of such programmes as have been adopted by the ministers upon their recommendation.

It being the primary object of this method of conference to insure better cooperation in activities which have to do with the provision of supplies, programmes should primarily be formed by or under the direction of the ministers representing foodstuffs, raw materials, and manufactured or partly manufactured products. The Government [Page 598] of the United States understands that the formulation of common programmes in these matters will be limited to cases—

Where two or more Governments are interested in supplies which must be transported overseas to supplement deficiencies in local production; or,
Where the several sources of supply should be agreed upon, and the allotment and method of their distribution or utilization; or,
Where there might without agreement be competition between Governments in procuring supplies or a wasteful duplication of productive effort.

When provisional programmes respecting the commodities mentioned above have been agreed upon within the limits specified by the ministers in charge of such commodities, such programmes will be—

Coordinated with finance through the Inter-Allied Commission.
Coordinated with shipping through the Inter-Allied Maritime Council.
Coordinated with export and import relations through an inter-Allied board made up of heads or representatives of the United States War Trade Board and similar departments of the other Governments.

If it is impossible to secure a unanimous acceptance of a programme by the various ministers, differences of opinion will be submitted to the President of the United States and the Premiers of the Allied Governments represented for final determination.

In the event that the ministers in charge of any of the groups of activities here dealt with feel that the formulation of programmes is delayed or rendered difficult by the geographical separation of the ministers from one another, and that the difficulties cannot be obviated by personal conference consistently with their other duties, any such minister may appoint a personal representative to sit at a foreign capital. This representative may exercise such control as the minister by whom he is appointed may determine over the minister’s appointees or “executives” sitting at such capital.

So far as the War Trade Board is concerned, we see no reason for a change in our organization, as this is practically the way in which we are now operating. In this connection you should see copies of letters exchanged by Crosby and McCormick which are being sent to you by pouch today.1

Copies of this plan are being sent by the heads of other governmental departments to their respective representatives, if any, abroad. Representatives of the War Industries Board, we understand, will leave shortly for Europe and will discuss this plan with representatives of the corresponding bodies abroad; and Hoover, who is now [Page 599] en route, will do likewise. If any further explanations are necessary, Hoover is fully informed upon the details of this plan.

For your confidential information, we understand the War Department has appointed Stettinius to represent it on the Munitions Council and that a representative of the War Industries Board will also sit on the Munitions Council.

Please repeat this cablegram in full to McFadden.

  1. See last paragraph for instruction to repeat to McFadden, War Trade Board representative in Paris.
  2. Not printed.