Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State

The British Ambassador called at his request. He handed me an elaborate memorandum24 in regard to the problem of British purchases of American agricultural products and the slowing down of these purchases recently, which he said the Embassy here had prepared on its own initiative. The Ambassador stated that he would be glad if the State Department would examine the memorandum, and then we could have a further conference in regard to the matter. I thanked him and said we would be pleased to do so. I again emphasized the extreme importance of working out something reasonably satisfactory with respect to all phases of this question. He seemed to appreciate my viewpoint.

There was some general conversation about the war situation but nothing of special moment was developed. In the course of references to British-American difficulties, I said that I would be glad, in the interest of both Governments, to emphasize three points: first, that in whatever regulations or restrictions or other new methods or policies that might be adopted by the British Government during the war, our Government was particularly concerned to know that such changes and innovations would not be hurtful to this country after the war; second, that no blacklisting practices in this country would be carried on by his Government; and third that the British Government would not apply the slogan “this is necessary to win the war” to a great variety of minor practices which would affect the United States.

The Ambassador made a note of the three points mentioned above and seemed to appreciate my making these suggestions.

He concluded by saying he would discuss further with Mr. Berle some minor phases of the relations between our countries.

C[ordell] H[ull]
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