The Secretary of State to the President

My Dear Mr. President: I have for recommendation Mr. McIntyre’s memorandum of July 31, 19431 to which are attached memoranda of Mr. Lauchlin Currie dated July 28, 19432 and Mr. Stettinius dated July 30, 1943.2 These papers propose the appointment of a Joint War Aid Committee of the United States and Canada, “to consider problems of mutual interest arising out of Canadian Mutual Aid and the American Lend-Lease programs.”

The Canadian Mutual Aid is, in effect, a Canadian lend-lease organization. Obviously, some method of coordinated action is essential. We have already had the case of the Chinese asking lend-lease from us, and at the same time asking lend-lease aid from Canada, with the two organizations acting in that case independently. This incident, or others like it, had led the Canadians themselves to take the initiative in suggesting to us an informal advisory committee.

I gather that the arrangement now worked out by Mr. Lauchlin Currie supersedes those negotiations.

There is no objection to the proposed committee, except in one respect. The Canadian Section consists of three supply men and the Minister Counselor of the Canadian Legation who is primarily responsible for the political side. The American Section as outlined by Mr. Currie is composed of Major General Burns, Munitions Assignment Board; Mr. Batt of the War Production Board; Mr. Van Buskirk of the Lend-Lease Administration and General Boykin Wright of the International Aid Division Army Service Forces. None of these men has any great familiarity with Canadian political conditions and there is no link by which the State Department would be likely to get any information as to action taken.

I should suggest, accordingly, that Mr. J. D. Hickerson of this Department be appointed a member of the American Section of the committee; and that a directive should be issued to the American Section to have its records, or at least duplicate records, filed with the Department of State.

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A number of Joint Canadian-American committees are operating now, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of the various commitments and understandings reached through them. Further, Prime Minister King has informally and rather plainly indicated to us that he would like to be able to consult with and get information from the American Legation in Ottawa on all matters he handles with this Government except, of course, where he is in direct communication with you.

Faithfully yours,

Cordell Hull
  1. See ante, p. 653, fn. 1.
  2. Ante, p. 653.
  3. Ante, p. 653.