840.50/805: Telegram

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

6271. Personal to the Secretary. My 5953, October 24, 3 p.m. Since receiving the Department’s 5143, October 19, 1 p.m., I made a point of contacting the High Commissioners of the Dominions here and their economists who have come on for informal discussions of post-war problems. It is my understanding that these have been scheduled for a considerable time. The meeting is in no sense in the nature of a formal conference. I have been told by all concerned that there is no desire to conceal this exchange of views from us. The [Page 230] talks are on a non-committal basis. The representatives of the Dominions were shown certain documents and they made comments on them only in their personal capacities. They do not know whether, and if so how far, such comments as they have made will be taken into account by the British in redrafting their documents. These comments do not commit any of the Dominion Governments, and the Dominions economists consider that they are free if they wish after further consideration to modify the views they have already expressed.

The talks have not led to agreed Canadian-British plans and were specifically not intended to do so. They were designed to transmit to the Dominions certain British documents and give opportunities for oral explanations by the British authors of the plans and for comments by the Dominions economists in their personal capacities.

Mackintosh told Penrose that the Canadian group was greatly impressed with the earnestness and sincerity shown in the British plans for reconstruction, and with the amount of work which had been accomplished by British Government economists.

I wish very much that you would let Hawkins come over here to discuss in similar fashion some of the problems that will have to be dealt with as we move toward post-war planning. I feel sure it would be helpful to you to get a more intimate understanding of British thinking on these subjects from a man who has worked closely with you for several years in this field. I hesitate to press this matter again but I feel so strongly on this subject that I believe it my duty to bring it once more to your attention.