841.24/1227: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in Egypt (Kirk)

204. The Lend-Lease Administration has sent the following cable to Harriman4 in London.

  • “1. In view of situation disclosed in your 883 of February 24,5 concur in view that Egypt should not be represented on Middle East Supply Council at this time and will so advise British.
  • 2. Considering size of the Council (14 or 15 members) and character of its functions, we think American representation should consist of one military representative from the Maxwell Mission and a civilian representative of the Legation. Consideration is being given to attaching Lend-Lease assistants to Kirk to be sent from here.
  • 3. Propose that requests originating in Middle East be approved by M. E. S. C. before transmittal, and that all requisitions providing for retransfer name the specific transferee country, it being agreed that in any emergency American representatives on M. E. S. C. or Lend-Lease representative shall take responsibility for effecting a retransfer to another country without prior Washington approval, of course advising Washington promptly after the fact. Believe this procedure provides adequate flexibility without disadvantages of retransfer covering all the countries in the Middle East area.”

The Department is awaiting concurrence in this recommendation of the War Shipping Administrator and the War and Navy Departments. Do you concur in the joint representation and would you propose to sit yourself or to designate a representative? The Lend-Lease Administration, which now deals only with requisitions for non-military items under Lend-Lease, will provide any assistants to be attached to the Legation whom you may need for this work. It also desires to send a man to survey the situation so far as non-military requirements of Lend-Lease aid are concerned and report back. Your views are requested as to the number, if any, and type of assistants you might require and upon the usefulness of the survey trip referred to.

  1. W. Averell Harriman, Special Representative of the President in the United Kingdom to facilitate Lend-Lease aid to the British Empire.
  2. Not printed.