600.419/626: Telegram

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

1371. The House of Commons passed last night the Import and Export Customs Powers (Defence) Act1 under which all exports and imports can be controlled by licence. The Board of Trade has issued an order today adding other products to those named last week requiring export licences. It is not planned to issue the list of imports requiring licences until a state of war begins.

The British Government is desirous of maintaining such exports as are possible in order to acquire foreign exchange but certain exports have been put under licence in order to (1) conserve essential products needed for prosecuting the war and (2) preventing certain essential applies reaching the enemy.

Stanley2 told me that the import list will of necessity be drastic in order to conserve available resources of foreign exchange. They will nit luxury and semi-luxury goods hard and divert to domestic production such products as need not be imported.

The full list of the products under export and import licences will be cabled later.

  1. Public General Acts, 2 & 3 Geo. 6, ch. 69, p. 1043.
  2. Oliver Stanley, President of the British Board of Trade.