840.48/10–644: Telegram

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

8414. For Department, FEA, and WRB.54 ReEmbs 8373 of October 5.

On the matter of monetary relief, the Ambassador stated that his Government desired this subject to be considered separately. British members of Special Committee on Relief submitted a memorandum on [Page 285] question of monetary relief, text of which is being sent Department by airgram. Paragraph 14 of recommendations of Committee (Embassy’s A–1211, October 455) was based on this memorandum and suggests, in substance, that any license which involves or may involve the placing of funds in neutral territory at the disposal of enemy persons should be issued only after consultation between the Governments of Great Britain and the United States and that, normally this consultation should take place between the British Embassy and the Department of State. British Embassy would be given wide discretion and reference to London (Relief Sub-Committee) would only be necessary in cases of doubt.

British have taken position that monetary relief as extended through WRB licenses to persons in enemy and enemy occupied countries is an integral part of any general scheme of relief through the blockade and should be subject to joint approval. They further point out that the two programs, relief in kind and monetary relief, are complementary and that unless those responsible for shipments of relief in kind are kept informed of payments which are being made, it will be difficult to avoid duplication.

British feel that principal danger in letting enemy acquire foreign exchange is no longer that money will be used for prosecution of the war, but that such funds may assist enemy persons and firms in the attempts they are now known to be making to acquire and conceal funds in neutral territory for use when they may have to seek refuge or for use in restoring their foreign trade.

American representatives on Special Committee reserved their position on recommendation concerning monetary relief and stated that the matter would be submitted separately to Washington by the Ambassador.

  1. War Resources Board.
  2. Not printed.