Memorandum by Mr. Kermit Roosevelt, Jr., of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of State (Acheson), to Mr. Thomas K. Finletter, Special Assistant to the Secretary of State

Mr. Finletter: At the meeting in General Wesson’s83 office this week the following points were raised which might be of interest to you.

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With regard to the oil drilling and other equipment needed by the Soviets to restore production in the Caucasian fields, it was pointed out that it is very difficult to handle this program piecemeal. The War Production Board and other agencies concerned are reluctant to grant high priorities on individual requests when it is possible that the Russians will later present further demands of even greater urgency.

It was pointed out that the Soviets must necessarily make individual requests before they are able to formulate an over-all program if they are to receive any equipment without prolonged delay. At the moment they cannot accurately forecast the over-all needs since they do not know the condition of the equipment the Germans left behind when they retreated. However, it was felt that their requests could be more effectively presented if even a very rough over-all program were to be prepared. This situation is to be explained to Soviet representatives.

It is planned that a number of American engineers will be sent to Russia to assist in setting up and in operating various of the plants, such as the tire and gasoline plants,84 which are going to Russia under lend-lease. American companies will not send men over unless there are good guarantees from the Soviet Government that these men will be provided with food, housing, medical care, et cetera. General Wesson is to discuss this problem with Soviet representatives shortly.

Kermit Roosevelt, Jr.
  1. Maj. Gen. C. M. Wesson, Senior Assistant Administrator for U.S.S.R. Supply, Office of Lend-Lease Administration.
  2. See telegram No. 518, May 24, 2 p.m., from the Ambassador in the Soviet Union, p. 758.