The Secretary of State to the Minister in the Union of South Africa (MacVeagh)
128. Reference is made to paragraph 4 of Department’s telegram no. 111 June 3. In your discussions with Union authorities and United Kingdom representatives on the establishment of the joint supply council please use as a guide the following general statement which sets forth the composite views of the Department and the Lend-Lease Administration:
- As has been indicated in previous communications, the Council’s objective will be to assist the Union Government in its endeavors to [Page 200]achieve the maximum utilization of the resources of the Union in production for the war effort.
- It is desired that the Council concern itself with matters of policy affecting the ascertainment of the Union’s minimum essential import requirements, the recommendation of sources of supply of those requirements, and the consideration of other matters relating directly to import requirements and imports. Operating functions should be left in the hands of existing operating agencies. For example, the actual work of compiling estimates of essential import requirements and recommending their sources of supply will continue to be done by the Union authorities, advised and assisted by the Lend-Lease Mission and such United Kingdom officials as may be agreed between the Union and the United Kingdom.
- The Council should have within its purview the Union’s total minimum essential import requirements rather than requirements on the United States and the United Kingdom only. This is necessary to insure an integrated overall import program and the full utilization of sources of supply other than the United States and the United Kingdom.
- It is hoped that the Council will adopt as its own forms for reporting requirements from all sources Lend Lease requirements form 1 and such other forms as may in future be devised by the Lend Lease Administration. Form 1 is so drafted that it could readily be used by the operating agencies in the Union for preparing reports of requirements from any source. If the Council does not adopt form 1, a serious duplication of paper work will result as data on requirements recommended to be supplied in whole or in part by the United States must in any event be prepared on form 1 for the use of the Lend Lease Administration in Washington in presenting claims for supplies for the Union before the United States allocating boards.
- The Council should review in the light of its objective all requirements data and recommendations as to sources of supply prepared by the operating agencies.
- It should be clearly understood that the recommendations as to sources of supply made by the operating agencies and approved by the Council can be advisory only. Final decisions in that regard can be made only in Washington and London.
- Each participating government should appoint one representative and one or more alternates to sit on the Council. Although the Council per se would therefore consist of only three members, it is assumed that there will be no objection to the attendance at the Council’s meetings of technical advisers and experts. On the United States side it is assumed that you will wish to have one or more Lend Lease representatives with you at all meetings, and that you might on occasion find desirable the presence of the Commercial Attaché, the Board of Economic Warfare representative, or the War Shipping Administration representative.
- The representative of the Union Government should be the chairman of the Council, and it is hoped that the Union Government will provide a secretary to keep the minutes and other records of the Council.
- All decisions of the Council should be unanimous. If a unanimous decision is not reached, the dissenting government should not be bound by any decision taken by the concurring governments.
- It is essential that the Council’s terms of reference and the general pattern of its activities be clearly stated after mutual agreement among the three participating governments. This should not be construed as evidence of any desire in Washington to encumber the Council with inflexible rules of procedure or unnecessary formality. However, if the allocating boards here are to give weight to the Council’s approval of the Union’s import requirements, they will require definite information with respect to the Council’s jurisdiction and procedures.
The foregoing general statement has been approved by the Board of Economic Warfare and the War Production Board. Comments from you, Lend Lease representative, and Sharpstone will be welcome.
The method of review in Washington and London of the requirements reports approved by the Council will be the subject of discussion by representatives of the three interested governments in Washington. You will be kept informed of the progress of those discussions.
Repeated to London.