President Roosevelt to the British Prime Minister ( Churchill )92
Number 474. Personal. From the President for the Former Naval Person,93 copy to the Foreign Secretary. May I ask your help in solving a troublesome problem which is of deep political concern both for you and for us? Officers of our Government have lately discussed with Lord Halifax, Mr. Ben Smith and Sir David Waley the possible termination of certain lend-lease transactions which we have found to be embarrassing, and no longer necessary. Your people have, as I understand it, promptly agreed to take over the purchase of goods which cost about $400 million in 1943. Final agreement on the whole list of articles is expected soon, and the negotiations, in view of their complexity, have gone very well.
Quite apart from these lend-lease negotiations, I have been wondering whether it would be feasible for you to consider so ordering your financial affairs as to reduce your gold and dollar holdings available in this country to the neighborhood of about $1 billion.
What do you think should and can be done?