841.24/1412: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Secretary of State


3150. For the Secretary and Under Secretary. This is to let you know that Richard Law has delayed his journey to the United States until the return of our friends to Moscow.31 It did not seem wise to have the Foreign Office appear to follow up the negotiations here by sending someone who might be presumed to keep watch on conversations [Page 192] that were taking place in the United States. This seemed to me a wise decision and I approved it.

Now that the Lend-Lease Agreements with China and Russia are underway32 and conversations with the latter have established a relationship on a friendly basis, I believe there is again an opportunity to engage in informal discussions with the British on commercial and economic problems.

It has been my opinion from the beginning that these first talks should be largely in a sense academic and completely informal, the object being to find out from the British what they consider their postwar problems in order that we might be in a position to discuss them on a more formal basis at a meeting which I assume would be called at Washington. It would not seem to me practical to bring on from London to Washington at an early date for such a preliminary meeting the two dozen or more men who have worked on British memoranda and who are deeply interested in the problem and are completely in sympathy with the Department’s views as expressed in article VII of the Lend-Lease Agreement. I believe, however, that informal talks which could be conveniently carried on now in London with these men would be most helpful. The apparent lack of interest and failure to follow up article VII have encouraged those who are completely opposed to it to advance contrary views.

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  1. For reports concerning the visit of the Soviet People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs, Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov, to London and Washington during May and June 1942, see vol. iii, section under Union of Soviet Socialist Republics entitled “Discussions relating to policies and problems …”.
  2. The Lend-Lease Agreement with China was signed June 2, 1942; for text, see Executive Agreement Series No. 251, or 56 Stat. (pt. 2) 1494. The agreement with the U. S. S. R. was signed June 11, 1942; for text, see Executive Agreement Series No. 253, or 56 Stat. (pt. 2) 1500.