President Roosevelt to the British Prime Minister (Churchill)98

509. 1. Thank you for your reply contained in your cables 613 and 614 of March 9. The points you raised have already been brought to my attention several times by Secretary Morgenthau and Secretary Hull.

I am sorry if my message caused you anxiety. There is no dispute as to the understanding on the handling of questionable items under Lend-Lease which was reached between Mr. Crowley, Secretary Hull, Secretary Morgenthau and Lord Halifax, and to which I had given my prior approval. As Secretary Morgenthau stated at the meeting, this understanding did not deal with the dollar position question and did not preclude the possibility of our reopening that question in the future should the situation seem to call for it.

I raised this dollar position question since it is a troublesome one of continuing concern with us here and doubtless with you. I hope that we may be able together to find some reasonable solution to this problem before it becomes more troublesome.

2. In any further discussion of these matters the Treasury would be the normal center of such conversations. The agenda which [Page 48] Stettinius has of topics to be discussed in London does not include the question of British dollar balances.

3. The question to which you refer in paragraph 2 of 614 may be withdrawn, although the Congressman concerned99 and the entire Foreign Affairs Committee are now alerted to the issue. We will let you know as soon as a definite decision is reached, and will consult fully before any information is proffered.

  1. Copy of telegram obtained from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, N.Y. The copy of this telegram retained in the White House files was signed on the lower margin by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Foreign Economic Administrator.
  2. Representative Karl E. Mundt of South Dakota, member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.