Hopkins Papers

The British Minister of Supply (Beaverbrook) to the President’s Special Assistant (Hopkins)

My Dear Harry: I have made inquiries into the confiscation in Rangoon of war weapons and trucks consigned to China.1

It appears that the Governor of Burma asked on the 12th of December whether Lend-Lease stores in Rangoon could be diverted from the Chinese for other uses. The War Department replied that the consent of the Chinese authorities would be necessary before any diversion took place.

We are of opinion here that certain weapons had been diverted and that on this decision these were restored to China.

There is no evidence of any diversion since that time, though we know that the British authorities are trying to secure the consent of the Chinese to further diversions.

Does this answer satisfy you? If not, shall I go further and make inquiries in Rangoon? Do you wish a War Office order given to the Governor of Burma directing that stores destined for China must not be interfered with until the consent of the Chinese authorities has been obtained?

Yours ever,

  1. The reference is to the Tulsa affair; see Magruder’s telegram of December 25, footnote 3, ante, p. 272.