840.50/3559a: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant)

1565. Personal for the Ambassador. 1. The President has turned over to me your telegram of February 27 regarding his messages to the Prime Minister.

Our thought, as explained in the messages, is that the time has come for pushing vigorously forward the question of creating some kind of United Nations machinery to plan and coordinate activities in the field of international economic cooperation. The messages were prompted in part by the fact that we have had no reaction from either the British or the Soviet governments to the suggestion made by Secretary Hull at Moscow (see document entitled “Bases of Our Program for International Economic Cooperation” attached to the Protocol of the Moscow Conference), and in part by the emerging question of what to do about the future of the Combined Boards.
The message regarding United Nations machinery was sent to both the Prime Minister and Marshal Stalin. The message regarding the Combined Boards went only to the Prime Minister, since these Boards are still an Anglo-American affair.
What we are after fundamentally is the inauguration of discussions looking toward the following:
Creation of some United Nations machinery for joint planning of international discussions and possible conferences in the various separate fields of international economic relations;
Creation of some general United Nations agency for the coordination of the activities of such separate agencies as may be set up in the various fields—for example, food and agriculture, monetary relations, labor etc. It may well be that a United Nations conference, held within the next few months, would provide the most effective method of setting up such a general agency.
Development of a policy for the possible utilization, especially during the transitional period, of such wartime mechanisms as the Combined Boards.
The Moscow proposal envisaged the creation of a small Commission to do the initial planning. Such a Commission could well, at the beginning, be a kind of steering group. We proposed a Commission of seven—the four major powers plus Canada, the Netherlands and Brazil. It may well be that a Commission of the four major powers only would be more effective.
The British Government may have other ideas as to procedure. If so, we should very much like to have their views.