The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Gallman) to the Secretary of State
[Received November 12—4:06 a.m.]
9853. For Department and FEA. Reference Department’s 8882, October 2561 and Embassy’s A–1211, October 4.62 There is given below a paraphrase of a letter received yesterday by Stone from the Minister of Economic Warfare, Lord Selborne. Our disappointment at further delay which will be caused by the form of the British reply has already been expressed orally to Foot by Stone and will be reiterated in letter to Selborne. Letter to Selborne will also state that while we are prepared to meet with British at once to consider amounts and kinds of food involved no precise estimates can be made until we have had preliminary conversations with the IRCC and the governments concerned and that we strongly urge that these conversations be initiated immediately.
Until this letter was received it was Embassy’s understanding that British were prepared to approve, with only minor alterations, the recommendation of the Special Relief Committee and to proceed immediately to implement them. Embassy understands confidentially that change in view is based on recommendation from Prime Minister.
Paraphrase of letter begins: Further consideration has been given by the War Cabinet to the recommendations of the Special Relief Committee. The War Cabinet feel that they can reach no decision until they know in more detail the kinds and amounts of foodstuffs required and until they are given an estimate of the tonnage necessary to carry the supplies.
Large areas of Europe have been liberated since our discussions began and the serious situation in the Netherlands has become apparent. [Page 289] Clearly it is important that the help we are bound to give our liberated Allies should not be restricted by the shipment of supplies to enemy occupied Europe. I therefore suggest that the Special Sub-Committee meet again and draw up detailed estimates of supplies which would be required if the proposals are implemented. Paraphrase ends.