FW 842.24/244

The Assistant Secretary of State ( Berle ) to the Secretary of State


SMr. Secretary: Your recommendation is asked by the President with regard to a joint United States-Canadian War Aid Committee. This is to consider problems of mutual interest arising out of Canadian “Mutual Aid”—the equivalent of our Lend-Lease authority—and our own Lend-Lease authority.

[Here follows a description of the proposed membership of the Committee as given in the draft press release of July 28, 1943, supra.]

It will be noticed that the Canadian Foreign Office is represented by Mr. Pearson. The State Department apparently is not represented, and if formation of this committee is adopted, I believe you should recommend that Mr. Hickerson of Eu be appointed an American member of the committee. Mr. Hickerson should report to you and to me on general political relations with Canada, and would keep in touch with Mr. Acheson in respect of the economic side. I suggest this because the economic men are fully represented and there is no representation on the political side comparable to Pearson.

You may wish to inform Mr. Acheson of this.

On the assumption that this recommendation may meet with your approval, I have drafted the attached letter to the White House.1

An incident in regard to the formation of this committee deserves notice. Following organization of the Canadian Mutual Aid, we called to the attention of Lend-Lease the necessity of working out a close relationship with the Canadian Mutual Aid. Plainly, we cannot have countries first coming to the United States and asking lend-lease, and at the same time going to Canada and asking free aid, thus working both sides at once.

Lend-Lease constituted a small committee and were preparing to discuss the matter with the Canadians. Mr. Currie paid a personal visit to Canada about this time and talked to the Canadians, and this is the result. His visit was the subject of slightly acid comment by Mackenzie King to Lewis Clark, our Chargé d’Affaires in Ottawa. Mackenzie King said that American representatives from various departments had showed up making arrangements, and he was beginning to be puzzled as to who represented what. I think, therefore, it would be highly desirable to suggest to the President that when joint Canadian-United States operations are contemplated, it would be well [Page 656] to clear the matter with the Department of State. I have included a paragraph along this line in the letter to the President.

A[dolf] A. B[erle,] Jr.
  1. Infra.