Editorial Note

No official minutes of this meeting have been found. The fullest account is the diary record made by Morgenthau, who wrote as follows concerning the discussion during the meeting:

“I met at 12:00 today with Roosevelt, Churchill, Eden and the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs. We took up the question of the Lend-Lease Agreement for Phase II. The President read the thing through [Page 361] very carefully,2 and the only suggestion he made was that where it read, ‘Naturally no articles obtained on Lend-Lease or identical thereto would be exported,’ he included the words, ‘or sold’. Lord Cherwell said that they do sell all of their Lend-Lease; that is, all of the nonmilitary Lend-Lease, and the President then added the words also ‘for profit’.

“Churchill was quite emotional about this agreement, and at one time he had tears in his eyes. When the thing was finally signed, he told the President how grateful he was, thanked him most effusively, and said that this was something they were doing for both countries.

“Then Churchill, turning to Lord Cherwell and myself, said, ‘Where are the minutes on this matter of the Ruhr?’3 and according to our agreement we said that we didn’t have them. The reason we didn’t have them was because I felt, when I read the minutes which Lord Cherwell had written, that it presented much too weak a case, and I thought that we could get Churchill to go much further. He seemed quite put out that we didn’t have the minutes of the previous meeting, and the President said that the reason we didn’t have them was because Henry interspersed the previous discussion with too many dirty stories, and that sort of broke the ice. So Churchill broke in and said, ‘Well, I’ll restate it,’ which he did, and he did it very forcefully and very clearly. Then he suggested that Lord Cherwell and I withdraw and try to do a job on dictating it, which we did. It only took us a few minutes, and we came back up to the room where they were meeting and just calmly walked in. When Churchill read our very short memorandum,4 he said, ‘No, this isn’t what I want.’ Then he started to talk and dictate to us, and I said, ‘I don’t know what the rules of the game are, but is there any reason why we can’t have a stenographer present? Then you could dictate directly to her.’ He said, ‘By all means,’ and Cherwell went out and got Churchill’s secretary, and she came in and he began to dictate. He dictated the memorandum,5 which finally stood just the way he dictated it. He dictates extremely well because he is accustomed to doing it when he is writing his books.

“While Churchill was dictating, he used the memorandum which I had dictated as a sort of a text.

“Roosevelt’s important contribution, while Churchill was dictating, was that when he got talking about the metallurgical, chemical and electric industries, Roosevelt had him insert the very important words ‘in Germany’. What Roosevelt meant was—because it came up later—that he didn’t have in mind just the Ruhr and the Saar, but he had in mind entire Germany, and that the matter we were talking about, namely, the ease with which metallurgical, chemical and electrical industries in Germany can be converted from peace to war, [Page 362] does not only apply to the Ruhr and the Saar, but the whole of Germany, which of course is terribly important.

“When Churchill got through, Eden seemed quite shocked at what he heard, and he turned to Churchill and said, ‘You can’t do this. After all, you and I publicly have said quite the opposite. Furthermore, we have a lot of things in the work[s] in London which are quite different.’ Then Churchill and Eden seemed to have quite a bit of argument about it. Roosevelt took no part in it, and I took a small part and kept throwing things in. Churchill’s main argument was what this meant in the way of trade; they would get the export trade of Germany. So Eden said, ‘How do you know what it is or where it is?’ and Churchill answered him quite testily, ‘Well, we will get it where-ever it is.’ I was quite amazed and shocked at Eden’s attitude; in fact, it was so different from the way he talked when we were in London. Finally Churchill said, ‘Now I hope, Anthony, you’re not going to do anything about this with the War Cabinet if you see a chance to present it.’ Then he said this, ‘After all, the future of my people is at stake, and when I have to choose between my people and the German people, I am going to choose my people.’6 Churchill got quite nasty with Eden, and I understand from the President that all the rest of the day Eden was not at all helpful. The President was quite disappointed.” (Morgenthau Presidential Diary, vol. VI)

Eden, p. 552, describes his participation in the meeting as follows:

“… On the morning of September 15th I joined the Prime Minister and the President, who were by now in agreement in their approval of the [Morgenthau] plan. Cherwell had supported Morgenthau and their joint advocacy had prevailed. Large areas of the Ruhr and the Saar were to be stripped of their manufacturing industries and turned into agricultural lands. It was as if one were to take the Black Country and turn it into Devonshire. I did not like the plan, nor was I convinced that it was to our national advantage.

“I said so, and also suggested that Mr. Cordell Hull’s opinion should be sought for. This was the only occasion I can remember when the Prime Minister showed impatience with my views before foreign representatives. He resented my criticism of something which he and the President had approved, not I am sure on his account, but on the President’s.”

Cadogan told Stettinius in Washington on September 16, 1944, that Roosevelt and Churchill had discussed the question of voting in the Security Council of the proposed world organization at midday on September 15 and again in the middle of the afternoon. For the telegrams on this subject which Stettinius sent to Roosevelt on September [Page 363] 14 and 15, see post, pp. 425, 426. Stettinius’ memorandum of his conversation with Cadogan on September 16 records:

“… He7 said that while Eden understood these matters clearly, Churchill had not yet studied them and [he] feared that neither Churchill nor the President had a complete understanding of what was involved. I inquired if he knew whether the President had had my message before him when this was discussed, and he said that the President had had no papers before him and did not refer to any. He said the question had come up at midday yesterday and had been discussed again in the middle of the afternoon. He did not indicate which person had taken the initiative.8 He indicated that the President had not been definite in his views on the matter one way or the other.…”9 (Notter File, Box 168, Stettinius Diary)

Roosevelt, however, sent a message to Stettinius on September 15 stating that neither Churchill nor he was inclined to approve the compromise voting formula which Stettinius had transmitted to Quebec. See post, p. 427.

On September 15—and presumably at this meeting—Roosevelt and Churchill initialed two separate papers on lend-lease: (1) the summary of their discussion on September 14, mentioned above (for text, see ante, p. 344), and (2) a shorter paper on the establishment of a committee to deal with lend-lease questions (for text, see post, p. 468).

  1. The paper referred to is Cherwell’s record of the Roosevelt–Churchill discussion of lend-lease matters during their meeting at 11:30 a.m., September 14, 1944. See ante, p. 344.
  2. Churchill was inquiring for a record of the discussion of German questions during the Roosevelt–Churchill meeting at 11:30 a.m., September 14, 1944. See ante, p. 343, for the record which Cherwell had prepared but which was not produced in response to Churchill’s request because of Morgenthau’s objections to it.
  3. Post, p. 390.
  4. Post, p. 466.
  5. Cf. Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Malta and Yalta, 1945, pp. 135 and 137, where two versions are printed of Morgenthau’s account of this episode given to Hull and Stimson on September 20, 1944. Morgenthau also described the meeting to a group of colleagues in the Treasury Department at a meeting held at 3:20 p.m., September 19, 1944 (Morgenthau Diary, vol. 772).
  6. i.e., Cadogan.
  7. According to Hull, p. 1702, Roosevelt told Stettinius in a telephone conversation on September 17 that Roosevelt “had tried to get Mr. Churchill interested in this subject, but that the Prime Minister took the position that he had not studied the papers and did not have the time to get into it.”
  8. When Stettinius told Cadogan on September 16, however, that the United States was still studying the compromise voting formula and that Stettinius “had not received firm instructions one way or the other”, Cadogan seemed surprised, as he had assumed from his conversation with Roosevelt at Quebec, that Stettinius “had received rather implicit [explicit?] instructions”. See Notter File, Box 168, Stettinius Diary. Cf. Cadogan, p. 666.