Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. G. Frederick Reinhardt of the Division of European Affairs

Participants: Erich Nielsen, War Shipping Administration
Mr. William Hart, British Merchant Shipping Mission
G. F. Reinhardt, State Department.

The meeting was called by Mr. Nielsen for the purpose of discussing with Mr. Hart, Admiral Standley’s most recent telegram, Moscow’s 212, March 26, 5 p.m., on the subject of the Soviet offer to advance certain sums of rubles to American and British seamen in North Russian ports.

After some discussion on the subject, Mr. Hart agreed to transmit to London the substance of Ambassador Standley’s most recent message and to encourage his principals to agree to a joint Anglo American acceptance of the Soviet offer with the understanding that any moneys given by the Soviet Government for distribution to American and British seamen would be given to American and British shipping representatives or the masters of the individual ships and not distributed directly by Soviet officials to the seamen concerned.

Mr. Hart promised to inform us as soon as he had received an indication of London’s reaction to this suggestion.