The Secretary of State to Senator Francis Moloney, of Connecticut

My Dear Senator Maloney: Thank you for your inquiry of December 30,43 about the rumor that the Soviet Union is diverting lend-lease petroleum products to Japan as an act of appeasement.44

I take pleasure in enclosing a copy of my recent letter on this subject to Mr. Stettinius, whose answer to your question I have read and approve.45

Appropriate assurances from the Soviet Government have been received on this matter.

Sincerely yours,

Cordell Hull
[Page 742]

The Secretary of State to the Lend-Lease Administrator (Stettinius)

My Dear Mr. Stettinius: I have seen Senator Maloney’s letter to you of December 30, 1942, and the proposed reply for your signature.46 I wish to assure you, as you were informally assured during October, when you consulted members of the Department, that on the basis of careful enquiries, we have no reason to believe that the report to which the Senator refers is or has been true, and that we perceive no objection from the point of view of the foreign relations of the United States to the continuance of the use of the Pacific route for Soviet lend-lease shipments.

Sincerely yours,

Cordell Hull
  1. Not printed; Senator Maloney, on December 30, 1942, had sent letters to Lend-Lease Administrator Stettinius and to Secretary of State Hull reporting that an official of the Socony Vacuum Company had stated that Russia was supplying oil and gas to Japan as an “appeasement act”, and asking if the Government had any knowledge of such an arrangement and if the Soviet Government had given assurances to the United States against any such diversion of supplies.
  2. A marginal notation by Max W. Thornburg, Petroleum Adviser and Special Assistant to Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles, on the file copy of this letter states, “It might not be amiss to mention that Japan does produce a relatively small quantity of oil in the Russian portion of Sakhalin Island. This is not a ‘diversion of lend-lease aid’ but comes to the same thing in the end.” Mr. Thornburg was referring to the oil concessions originally granted to a Japanese oil company by the Soviet–Japanese Convention of January 20, 1925 (League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. xxxiv, p. 31). In August 1939 the People’s Commissariat of Fuel Industry elaborated on and reaffirmed certain of the arrangements with the Japanese; see Izvestiya, August 12, 1939.
  3. A similar reply to another congressional inquiry was made by the Department on May 8, 1943, to Senator Edward H. Moore of Oklahoma, who had requested information for an appropriate reply to Oklahoma State Representative Clarence Tankersley, regarding alleged commercial exchanges between the Soviet Union and Japan (861.24/1414).
  4. On January 15, 1943, Mr. Stettinius informed Secretary Hull that he had replied to Senator Maloney.