The Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force (Eisenhower) to the Combined Chiefs of Staff
1 July, 1944.
- Under existing directives of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, the military program of civilian supply developed by this Headquarters has been designed to support military operations by providing the minimum essential needs of peoples uncovered by military operations or as a result of such operations and necessarily does not extend into the broad field of the economic rehabilitation of the countries involved that will follow the conclusion of the military period. No provision, so far as is known, has been made by the United States or the United Kingdom for a coordinated program to meet the civilian supply needs of Northwest Europe immediately following the conclusion of military responsibility.
- The problem is important for several reasons. Representatives of Foreign Governments in London have asked whether the military will procure and ship during this initial period items which are beyond the scope of items included in present military plans. Such items would include raw materials and machinery and maintenance items. Similarly, Civil Affairs officers must have some guidance in assisting indigenous authorities in the development of their supply plans. To date the Foreign Governments have been informed that [Page 315] as regards such items it will be necessary for them to make their own arrangements through the appropriate diplomatic and supply authorities of the U.S. and U.K. This does not appear to be a satisfactory answer and although planning with respect to these requests is of indirect interest to the current military responsibility, the manner in which this problem is handled is bound to have a significant effect in hastening economic stabilization in Northwestern Europe and speeding up the relinquishment of military control.
- A related problem is the machinery which will be evolved for the revival of export trade between the liberated areas of Northwest Europe and between these countries and with outside purchasers, such as the U.S., the U.K. and the U.S.S.R., and neutral countries. It is not contemplated that this will represent great volume initially in view of the shortages in shipping and internal transportation. It is important, however, that plans are made promptly for the policy to be followed for developing the return to more normal conditions of trade and supply under Civil Control, as this policy must govern as far as possible activities during the military phase. Unless there is continuity of policy during the military period and afterwards, conditions in Northwest Europe will not stabilize as rapidly as is desirable.
- It is recommended that action be initiated now towards the establishment of a civilian organization created by the U.S. and U.K. governments to implement and coordinate the long-range supply and economic program of the United Nations and upon request to assist and advise the military in the execution of the current military program. I consider it urgent that this be done as soon as possible.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
General, U.S. Army