550 AD 2/8–2444
The Secretary of State to the President
My Dear Mr. President: I attach hereto a letter1 which you may wish to send to the Secretary of Agriculture in answer to his letter to you of August 232 regarding the recommendation of the Interim Commission on Food and Agriculture on an international commodity organization, the general problem of agricultural surpluses and bilateral purchase contracts.
As you know, about a year ago we held, in cooperation with the interested agencies of the government, including the Department of Agriculture, informal conversations with both the British and the Canadians on the implementation of Article VII of the Mutual-Aid Agreements.3 These discussions covered commercial policy, commodity policy, cartel policy and state trading. The specific points raised in Mr. Wickard’s letter were covered in a preliminary way in these discussions.
It was our understanding when the talks terminated last year that conversations would be resumed at an early convenient date. Our latest on this is a telegram from Ambassador Winant dated August 11,1 stating that Mr. Ronald of the Foreign Office gave the impression that a date for resumption of conversations might be arranged in the autumn to suit our convenience.
Interdepartmental committees including representatives of the Department of Agriculture have been active on this group of problems. Reports of these committees come to me through the Executive Committee on Economic Foreign Policy. In the near future I shall place before you definite recommendations on these matters. Taking everything into consideration, we believe that the conversations should be resumed before the end of October, preferably about the middle of the month. Rather than talking with the Prime Minister on the specific questions suggested by Mr. Wickard, we believe that it would be most desirable if you could gain the wholehearted support of Mr. Churchill for the resumption of conversations about the middle of October on the whole range of subjects covered in a preliminary way last year. In these second conversations with the British the objective would be to obtain agreement not only on principles, but also on the text of a draft multilateral convention to serve as the basis for similar conversations with representatives of other governments, looking toward a conference of the United and Associated Nations.