The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in Great Britain ( Laughlin )
3224. For Sheldon [from War Trade Board]: No. 1771. Embassy’s 3966 Nov. 23, your 1924. We agree to list you propose, but we believe it to be entirely inadequate. We propose the granting of licenses for the exportation to Scandinavia, Holland and Switzerland, reporting the same to London after granting, of iron and steel and products thereof, cotton goods, shoes and other manufactures of leather, agricultural machinery, and manufactured articles generally, referring to you before granting licenses for major foodstuffs and raw materials.
This procedure will continue the granting of licenses as scheduled in the Agreements for all articles and will enable us to make effective [Page 746] the entire statutory and confidential lists which are now in our possession. We believe that this procedure, under Agreements with these countries, will give ample blockade control under existing conditions. Please submit to A.B.C. and cable us their opinion.
It is our understanding that by the term “Free List” you mean a list of commodities, licenses for whose exportation need not be referred to London, and which may be exported only to approved consignees. Please confirm this understanding and also advise us definitely what is meant by the term “Free List”.