Editorial Note

This chapter presents in chronological order papers showing the arrangements made for the Washington Conference of December 1941–January 1942 (code-named Arcadia ), together with papers of a substantive nature which were prepared in anticipation of that conference or which show the status, on the eve of the conference, of certain subjects that came up for discussion at the conference.

Some documentation pertinent to the immediate background of the First Washington Conference has already been published. Within a week after the entry of the United States into the war, there began negotiations looking toward the coordination of the Allied war effort particularly in the immediately threatened area of Asia and the Southwest Pacific. Some of these negotiations and exchanges of view were undertaken, at least on the part of Roosevelt, with the forthcoming Washington Conference in mind. This applies particularly to the “preliminary conferences” of Allied representatives that Roosevelt requested should be held at Moscow, Chungking, and Singapore prior to December 20. Documentation on these activities will be found in Foreign Relations, 1941, vol. IV, pp. 736760. No conference was held at Moscow; see Stalin’s reply of December 17 to Roosevelt, ibid., p. 760; also printed, in slightly different translation, in Stalin’s Correspondence, vol. II, p. 18. For narrative accounts of the conferences at Singapore and Chungking, see Matloff and Snell, pp. 85–87; Romanus and Sunderland, pp. 50–57; and Morton, pp. 154 ff. With regard to the conference at Chungking, see also post, p. 271.

During the same period the Department of State was developing plans for a multilateral declaration of Allied unity (the Declaration by United Nations) and for a Supreme War Council. This work was pushed with all possible speed in order that the plans would be ready when Prime Minister Churchill arrived. Documentation on these interrelated topics prior to the opening of the Washington Conference will be found in Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. I, pp. 112. A few of these preconference documents which were referred to in the Washington Conference discussions have been included in this chapter, along with several additional papers not previously printed.

General background on the evolution of political subjects discussed at the First Washington Conference will be found in a number of [Page 4] Foreign Relations volumes for the year 1941. In this connection special mention might be made of the following:

For background on the military situation and the production and allocation problems considered at the Conference, see the appropriate volumes cited ante in the list of published sources.

For background on the visit of Prime Minister Mackenzie King to Washington, December 26–28, 1941, see Pickersgill, vol. I, pp. 193 ff., and Stanley W. Dziuban, Military relations between the United States and Canada, 1939–1945, in the official Army history United States Army in World War II: Special Studies (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1959), pp. 79 ff., 291 ff., and 341 ff. The text of the Statement on Exchange of Defense Materials with Canada, signed at Hyde Park, New York, on April 20, 1941, is printed in Department of State Bulletin, April 26, 1941, p. 494.