Morgenthau Diary, vol. 772

The British Paymaster-General ( Cherwell ) to the Secretary of the Treasury ( Morgenthau )

Dear Mr, Secretary, As you suggested, I am sending this note so as to clarify the meaning of the phrase “or sold for profit” in the record [Page 396] of the conversation between the President and the Prime Minister on September 14th.1

According to my recollection, you explained that it merely meant that our Government should not sell Lend/Lease goods for more than the price at which they are entered in your books plus a reasonable allowance for transport and similar charges. I should be grateful if you could let me know whether this is correct.2

Though I do not know whether we are informed about the price at which Lend/Lease goods stand in your books,—thanks to your generous desire to keep the dollar sign out of Lend/Lease,—I feel sure that we habitually keep well within this limit and that we shall therefore find no difficulty in meeting the President’s wishes in this respect.

May I also take this opportunity of telling you how much I enjoyed seeing you at Quebec and how very grateful I am for all the kindness you showed in your dealings with such a novice as

Yours very sincerely,

  1. See ante, p. 345, fn. 2, and the editorial note, ante, p. 371.
  2. Morgenthau replied on September 20, 1944: “Without attempting a precise restatement, I have assumed that the agreed principles which have heretofore governed the sale or other disposition of Lend-Lease goods in the United Kingdom would be retained unless changed circumstances should make reconsideration desirable. In the latter event the subject could be reopened for discussion between our two Governments.” (Treasury Files; Morgenthau Diary, vol. 776)