840.48/6–2444

The Counselor of the British Embassy ( Thorold ) to the Assistant Secretary of State ( Berle )

Dear Mr. Berle: I have now received a telegram from Mr. Foot informing me that the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Economic Warfare have considered his letter to you of June 13th and your reply thereto of June 17th [14th].37 It has been agreed that there would be no objection on our part to Mr. Foot’s letter being shown in confidence to Senators, Congressmen or others interested in relief.

Mr. Foot recalls that at his last interview with you, you asked him whether we would object to a précis of his letter appearing in the press. This has been agreed to in London, though in view of the present hold-up of ships carrying prisoner-of-war parcels to Marseilles, it is felt that it would be better to postpone any such publication until the situation becomes clearer. London would also prefer the press statement to omit any reference to the last paragraph, since its publication may lead to various embarrassing enquiries as to the exact nature of the further steps now under consideration. Should you, however, feel strongly on the matter, London would not wish to press this point, and would be prepared if necessary to agree to the publication of the text of Mr. Foot’s letter.

[Page 271]

On the other hand, as I have already mentioned to you, the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Economic Warfare would greatly deprecate any publication of your letter of June 17th [14th], or that it should be shown to persons outside the State Department, since it would certainly give the impression of a very considerable cleavage between the British and American Governments, and would almost certainly lead to increased pressure by the Allied Governments and from other quarters, both in the United States and in the United Kingdom. I believe, however, I am right in thinking that it was not your intention to use your letter in this way, but that you were only anxious to have it clearly on record that you were not accepting the proposals in Mr. Foot’s letter as substitutes for the other proposals which had previously been submitted by the United States Government, and which you still wished to press.38

Yours sincerely,

G. F. Thorold
  1. See footnote 36, above.
  2. In his June 30 reply to this letter, Mr. Berle informed Mr. Thorold that the U.S. Government had no present intention of incorporating Mr. Foot’s letter in a general press release “although it may become desirable to do so at a later date.” Since the Government’s position on the question of relief to enemy-occupied Europe was already well known, he doubted “whether the publication of the final paragraph of Mr. Foot’s letter would lead to any further embarrassment.” Mr. Berle assured Mr. Thorold that it was correct to assume that the only purpose of his reply of June 14 was “to keep the record entirely clear” as regards the American Government’s intention. (840.48/6–2444)