840.48/9–2244: Telegram

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

7860. ReEmbs 7501, September 1248 and Department’s 7228, September 6.49

[Page 282]
Policy meeting on question of relief through the blockade held today. British have agreed in principle to shipments through the blockade for controlled assistance to Allied territory occupied by the enemy.
It was agreed at the meeting that Norway is only country where relief on a nation wide scale can now be undertaken and that it is desirable for Norwegian relief to take form of an extension of existing relief operations. It was suggested that Swedes would be responsible for supervision of distribution and for obtaining assurances from German Government concerning maintenance of existing rations and safe-conducts.
It was also agreed that in other areas e.g. Poland and parts of Yugoslavia, relief would probably have to be limited to ad hoc shipments by IRCC49a as circumstances warranted. There was general agreement that if IRCC could arrange for supplies to be transported without German molestation and could give satisfactory assurances concerning control of distribution, there would be no objection to making supplies available to the IRCC from outside the blockade area.
A special joint sub-committee has been named to work out details of implementing plans to draft joint statement for submission to Combined Chiefs of Staff for their approval and to recommend type of public statement to be issued.
Question of monetary relief is to be left to special sub-committee for consideration. However, it was agreed that plans for food relief would take precedence and be dealt with separately.
It was agreed that no publicity would be given to any of the foregoing at present time.
  1. In this telegram Ambassador Winant informed the Department that the American members of the committee to study the question of allowing relief supplies through the blockade would be himself and William T. Stone, Director of the Embassy’s Economic Warfare Division, and that he had so informed Foreign Secretary Eden, also advising him that “while Department has no objection to consideration by committee of question of monetary relief, particular emphasis is placed on necessity for immediate planning for shipment of relief in kind. I have added that I assume details of implementation of any policy decided on by committee would be left to blockade sub-committee now handling existing arrangements for relief shipments to occupied territory.” (840.48/9–1244)
  2. Not printed.
  3. International Red Cross Committee.