841.24/595: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Johnson) to the Secretary of State

2572. For Hopkins48 from Harriman49 Office. Referring to carriage by Middle East truck ships of other cargo obtained on lend-lease terms for ultimate civilian consumption in Egypt or other [Page 310] Middle Eastern countries, British have instructed the Chairman of their Middle East supply center at Cairo to consult Harriman. From information given us it is apparent that he is having difficulty in complying with section 4 of the Act. We have had no instructions from you on the subject but understand from British that, as a practical matter and without commitment, the United States Government will not object to distribution through ordinary commercial channels, at least in the United Kingdom, where the British Government retains control of price and conditions of sale. We presume that if this advice be correct, you would apply the same rule to Egyptian and other Middle Eastern Governments, but we are advised that throughout that region further special difficulty arises that governments have no machinery comparable to control. We would appreciate guidance from you on these questions. [Harriman Office.]

  1. Harry L. Hopkins, Special Assistant to President Roosevelt, with primary responsibility at this time for Lend-Lease affairs.
  2. W. Averell Harriman, Special Representative of President Roosevelt in the United Kingdom, with rank of Minister, responsible for expediting lend-lease aid to the British Empire; at this time on a special mission to the Middle East.