The British Embassy to the Department of State


In November 1942 the United States Government informed His Majesty’s Government through the United States Ambassador in London that they looked forward to informal and exploratory talks with representatives of Great Britain and other powers in accordance with Article VII of the Mutual Aid Agreement, and invited His Majesty’s Government either to send a delegate for the purpose or to nominate some member of the British Embassy in Washington to represent them. His Majesty’s Government at the time nominated Sir Frederick Phillips and Mr. Opie for this purpose but did not otherwise pursue the United States suggestion as discussions of some parts of the ground covered by Article VII viz. monetary policy,15 were already in progress while other parts were felt by His Majesty’s Government to require some preliminary study on their part.

Having now been able to carry further their examination of the various topics, His Majesty’s Government feel that the moment has come to initiate with the United States Government informal and exploratory talks on the whole field covered by Article VII and that it is important for these talks to start without delay. They are strengthened in this view by the repeated requests made by some of the Allied Governments in exile for a lead by the United States and United Kingdom. They see great advantage in handling the essentially inter-related matters covered by Article VII as a coherent whole. In pursuance therefore of the United States suggestion mentioned in the preceding paragraph, they intend, if the United States Government see no objection, to send to Washington not later than the first half of September a delegation of senior officials, led by a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, which would be capable of dealing with all these subjects and in particular monetary policy, international investment, the regulation of primary products and commercial policy. His Majesty’s Government suggest that the first object of such talks should be to obtain broad United States–United Kingdom agreement on an orderly agenda for the discussion of Article VII. His Majesty’s Government continue as in the past to regard as of the greatest importance the attainment of prior agreement on such matters between the United States and United Kingdom Governments before they are discussed in a wide international field. The proposed delegation would also be in a position to push further the talks on [Page 1107] monetary policy which have already begun so as to pave the way for a general monetary conference which might be followed by further international conferences on other post-war monetary and economic problems which call for solution.

His Majesty’s Government would be glad to know whether this suggestion would be open to any objection on the part of the United States Government. If not, they would proceed to nominate their delegation forthwith.

  1. See section entitled “Preliminary and exploratory discussions regarding postwar monetary and financial arrangements,” pp. 1054 ff.