740.0011 European War 1939/1056: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Kennedy) to the Secretary of State

2396. The Supreme War Council held a meeting in London yesterday and the British and French Prime Ministers46 later issued the following joint statement on combined economic measures:

“With a view to making full use of the experience gained in the years 1914–1918, the British and French Governments decided from the outset of the war to coordinate in the fullest possible manner the economic war effort of the two countries. Immediate steps were taken at the outbreak of war with this object in view.

In pursuance of decisions reached by Mr. Chamberlain and M. Daladier at the last meeting of the Supreme War Council the arrangements already put into effect by the two Governments have now been [Page 569] strengthened and completed in such a way as to ensure common action in the following fields:

  • Air.
  • Munitions and raw materials.
  • Oil.
  • Food.
  • Shipping.
  • Economic Warfare.

The new measures adopted by the two Governments will provide for the best use in the common interest of the resources of both countries in raw materials, means of production, tonnage, etc. They will also provide for the equal distribution between them of any limitations, should circumstances render necessary a reduction of the programmes of imports.

The two countries will in future draw up their import programmes jointly and will avoid competition in purchases which they have to make abroad in carrying out those programmes.

The execution of these tasks has been entrusted to permanent Anglo-French executive committees, under an Anglo-French co-ordinating committee, which are being set up immediately.

The agreements reached, which can if required be extended to other fields, afford further evidence of the determination of the two countries to coordinate their war efforts to the fullest possible extent. By this means arrangements have been carried into effect two months after the beginning of hostilities for the organization of a common action by the two countries, which was only achieved during the last conflict at the end of the third year of the war”.

  1. Neville Chamberlain, British Prime Minister; Édouard Daladier, French President of the Council of Ministers and Minister for National Defense.