Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Theodore C. Achilles of the Division of European Affairs

During a general conversation Mr. Jordaan45 inquired as to when the Legation might expect to hear further from the Department concerning [Page 202]the reciprocal aid agreement. He was advised that it was still under consideration and that the persons concerned with strategic materials felt strongly that the Union should give such materials to us as reciprocal aid.

He remarked that the Union Government had gone considerably further toward meeting our wishes than the Legation had expected, in view of the fact that Lend-Lease assistance to the Union not merely helped the Union but the British Empire as a whole. In amplification of this statement he said that in the early days of Lend-Lease Secretary Morgenthau had advised the British and Dominion representatives that Lend-Lease extended to the Dominions was designed in part to relieve the strain on the foreign exchange resources of the United Kingdom. On the basis of that position the Union Government had agreed to furnish the United Kingdom Government with the equivalent in gold of all material received by the Union from the United States under Lend-Lease. Upon being questioned further he said that the amounts of gold furnished the United Kingdom under this arrangement were exactly equivalent to the value placed upon Lend-Lease aid received from the United States.

This seems to explain the vague references made by our Legation at Pretoria from time to time to South African payments to the United Kingdom for material received under Lend-Lease.

  1. J. R. Jordaan, Secretary of the South African Legation.