840.50/2924: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Secretary of State

7538. For the Under Secretary and Assistant Secretary Acheson. From a confidential source we learn that leading civil servants in the Foreign Office and some of the departments have been considering what instructions should be given to the British delegation to the UNRRA meeting25 if the European Allies express dissatisfaction with the position of UNRRA on supply matters and request representation on the appropriate bodies concerned with supplies and transport.

The suggestions considered have included (1) the formation of an advisory council to the Combined Boards26 with representation of the Allies concerned, and (2) the inclusion on the board of the Allies concerned after the collapse of Germany.

As against these suggestions, however, an alternative has been put forward, the rough outlines of which may be summarized as follows:

Any arrangement made must ensure that the fullest mobilization for the all-out war effort is maintained not only until Germany surrenders but also until Japan is disposed of.
If after Germany surrenders some of the European Allies are brought on the boards it is not certain that, apart from Holland, they will be interested in subordinating economic reconstruction in Europe to a hundred per cent effort in the Far East.
If nothing is done, however, the European Allies with economic war resources in their territories may not cooperate fully.
Therefore new boards or a new unified board should be set up alongside the existing boards, with representation including those Allies who have contributions to make on the supply side and eventually including neutrals in a similar position.
The existing boards would be maintained with their present representation and would have complete priority in all the economic matters involved until the end of the war in all areas of the world.
After the war in Europe the new board would deal with questions of supply and transport within the limits of what was available after the full needs of the war effort and civilian needs of these countries bearing the brunt of the war in the Far East had been met.
As soon as practicable after the end of the war in all areas the new board would displace the old boards.

These are only the rough outlines of this approach and many administrative details would have to be worked out to complete it. It [Page 1115] was not clear yesterday which if any of the suggestions under discussion would be adopted.

To safeguard sources of information it is important that this message should be treated as strictly confidential.

  1. Held at Atlantic City, New Jersey, November 10–Deeember 1, 1943.
  2. Regarding the Combined Boards on which the United States was represented, see footnote 3, p. 1015.