The Secretary of State to the President1

My Dear Mr. President: I have your letter of September 62 concerning the importance of taking whatever steps are necessary for the [Page 389] elimination of the political activities of German cartels, and the curbing of cartel practices which may restrict the free flow of goods in foreign commerce in the post-war world.

As you say, the elimination of the restrictive practices of cartels is an objective that consistently follows from the liberal principles of international trade which this Government, under your direction, has constantly sought to implement through the trade agreement program and other aspects of commercial policy. It is also an objective which consistently follows from this country’s traditional and long-standing program designed to protect the consumer against monopoly and to preserve individual enterprise on a freely competitive basis.

For more than a year the Department, together with other interested agencies, has been giving careful attention to the issues which you mention, as well as other related subjects. An interdepartmental committee was established at my suggestion, and has been giving constant and current consideration to cartel matters and the methods by which the objectives set forth in your letter may best be achieved and most appropriately be coordinated with other facets of our foreign economic policy.

I shall continue to follow closely the progress of this work on the subject of international cartels, and I am bringing your letter and my reply to the attention of the Executive Committee on Economic Foreign Policy with the request that this Committee and its subsidiary units expedite their work so as to be ready on short notice with definitive policy proposals. In the near future, and consistent with the pressing demands of the war upon your time, I want to present to you in more detail plans for discussions with other United Nations in respect to the whole subject of commercial policy.

Faithfully yours,

Cordell Hull
  1. The full text of this letter was included in a press release issued by Roosevelt’s staff at Quebec, September 13, 1944.
  2. For the text of Roosevelt’s letter, see Department of State Bulletin, vol. xi, September 10, 1944, p. 254.