641.0031/148: Telegram

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

3579. During a conversation with Lord Halifax on May 4 I complimented him on his recent speech57 and observed that there was quite a contrast between it and some of Mr. Churchill’s recent utterances58 which gave the impression that the Prime Minister favored the maintenance intact of Empire preferences and a tightening up of the Commonwealth, while at the same time he was preaching closer relations between the three great Western nations. I said that all of this together had discouraged many people in this country and in many small countries whose governments and people were becoming increasingly fearful that the three great Western nations would draw ever closer together and practice the worst forms of imperialism while neglecting the smaller nations. Mr. Churchill seemed to me to be overlooking this situation. I recalled my attempts to keep alive our views as to economic cooperation and future commercial policy and added that the future would indeed be dangerous unless we could have more cooperation from the British and have it now. I recalled the fight which the President and I have waged in this country for more liberal commercial policies against overwhelming odds and said that if we had faltered as the Prime Minister seemed to be faltering we would have gotten exactly nowhere.

I need not emphasize to you my concern over this matter and count upon you to take every opportunity to impress our views upon the British authorities.

  1. Presumably his address on international cooperation at the University of Michigan, April 21, 1944, British Speeches of the Day (New York, British Information Service), vol. 2, p. 30.
  2. See Churchill’s speech on unity in the Commonwealth and Empire to the House of Commons, April 21, 1944, Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons, 5th series, vol. 399, col. 577.