800.515/715

Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of European Affairs ( Hickerson ) to the Assistant Secretary of State ( Berle )

Mr. Berle: You doubtless saw Mr. Morgenthau’s statement in his press conference yesterday to the effect that the first of a series of conferences on postwar international monetary stabilization will be held in Washington next week with Canadian delegates.

Presumably this is the meeting about which I told you on Tuesday. You will recall that Saturday afternoon, April 10, Mr. Pearson, the Minister-Counselor of the Canadian Legation, received an urgent message which he was instructed to deliver to Mr. Morgenthau from Mr. Ilsley.34 This message stated that Mr. Ilsley and his associates had made a careful study of the White plan and of the Keynes plan and that they perceived a number of points of common ground. The message went on to say that Mr. Ilsley and his associates had prepared a compromise draft using material from both plans35 which they would be glad to discuss with representatives of the Treasury Department, if such an idea could be transmitted to Mr. Morgenthau. The message suggested that perhaps it might be possible to arrange a meeting at the Seigniory Club near Ottawa at an early date.

In telling me about this Mr. Pearson said that on Monday or Tuesday Mr. Morgenthau sent a reply stating that although he appreciated ‘Canada’s interest and desire to be helpful, this suggestion did not attract him. He stated that representatives of the Treasury Department would be glad to receive any persons Mr. Ilsley might care to designate to discuss the White plan in Washington next week. He added that he and his associates would of course not decline to listen to anything which the Canadians might wish to say about the Keynes plan.

Have you spoken to Harry White about this matter? It seems to me that it would be desirable for the Department of State to take part in the conversations. I hope that if you cannot yourself sit in on them that Mr. Livesey36 can. If he is not available, Mr. Parsons37 or I will be glad to sit in as observers if you wish.

J[ohn] D. H[ickerson]
  1. Canadian Minister of Finance.
  2. The Canadians published their plan on June 9, 1943; see Proceedings and Documents of the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, vol. ii, pp. 1575 ff.
  3. Chief, Financial Division.
  4. Foreign Service Officer assigned to the Division of European Affairs.