800.51W89/1142

The Under Secretary of State ( Welles ) to President Roosevelt

My Dear Mr. President: On May 28 Mr. Hull wrote the Secretary of the Treasury2 regarding the statements of amounts due which are customarily sent by this Department to representatives of war debtor governments a few days before due dates for debt payments.

Mr. Hull said that under existing circumstances he deemed it undesirable to send notices to the debtor governments now defending themselves against aggression, to some of which we are at present extending aid under the Lease-Lend Act.3 As we have already omitted notices to Czechoslovakia and the Baltic States, this would leave only France, Hungary, Italy and Rumania. We might send notices to them and issue a rather detailed explanatory press release or we might omit all notices and inform the press either orally or through a release that in the existing circumstances it is believed that no useful purpose would be served by sending the customary notices and that such notices are not requisite under the terms of the debt agreements.

I fully share Mr. Hull’s opinion that the notices not be sent.

Mr. Morgenthau, however, has now replied in a letter dated June 94 that the Treasury does not believe that any change should be made at this time in the routine procedure, under which notices of amounts due from debtor governments have been transmitted to the representatives of such governments in this country.

The customary notices have been prepared, but before acting on them I have wished to submit the matter to you.

Faithfully yours,

Sumner Welles
  1. Henry Morgenthau, Jr.; letter not printed.
  2. Approved March 11, 1941; 55 Stat. 31.
  3. Not printed.