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

Dear Ed: Replying to your letter of February 6,57 I can tell you only that we have under consideration a draft of a reciprocal lend-lease agreement with China.58 Owing to the complexity of the fiscal and other financial questions involved we have not yet been able to clear this draft with the Army, or the Treasury. The suggestion has not yet been discussed with the Chinese.

Therefore, I see no possibility at the present for a public announcement any more explicit than that I made in my testimony before the Foreign Affairs Committee. You may remember that, in reply to a question as to whether reciprocal lend-lease agreements have been concluded with China and Russia, I told Mr. Mundt59 that it is [Page 747] contemplated that a reciprocal aid agreement will be concluded with one of the countries he named.

So far as the Soviet is concerned, it is my feeling that circumstances are not such as to justify the conclusion of a reciprocal lend-lease agreement at present. No United States forces are serving in the Soviet German front and the Soviet Union is not at war with Japan, so the provisions of the usual reciprocal aid agreement would not be applicable. Strategic materials being furnished by the U.S.S.R. to the United States are covered by contract of September 12, 194160 between Defense Supplies Corporation and Amtorg Trading Corporation,61 and any change in this procedure seems undesirable.

Sincerely yours,

Dean Acheson
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed; this draft was the same, except for a few minor changes, as that handed to the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs on May 15; see Foreign Relations, 1943, China, p. 538.
  3. Karl E. Mundt, Representative in Congress from South Dakota.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Official purchasing and sales agency of the Soviet Union in the United States, New York, N.Y.