The Acting Secretary of State to the Secretary of the Navy (Forrestal)39

My Dear Mr. Secretary: I have received the letter of October 4, signed by you and the Secretary of War, in regard to the pricing of reciprocal aid furnished by the Government of the United Kingdom.

The Department is familiar with this problem, which has a long history, and it was the Department’s request to the British Ambassador in Washington in June 1943,40 that led to the British furnishing to us quarterly over-all estimates on reciprocal aid. I realize the limitations of this information and the desirability of receiving more detail, particularly in view of the interest of Congressional committees in this aspect of our lend-lease relations with the United Kingdom. As you suggest, the British would undoubtedly be in a position without additional use of manpower to furnish this information in many instances, but in some cases the furnishing of the information would probably present serious difficulties.

I understand that Mr. Charles Denby, the head of the General Areas Branch in FEA, and Major General Edgerton41 of the International Division of the War Department are leaving for London shortly and will take up these questions with American Army and Naval officers and with British officials. We are instructing Ambassador Winant to associate himself with them in presenting the problem to the British and in urging upon the British the importance of working out a satisfactory solution that will not impose excessive manpower demands, but at the same time will furnish a sufficient [Page 69] detail of information to answer the questions that Congress is asking in regard to the handling of reciprocal aid.

Sincerely yours,

Edward R. Stettinius
  1. The same letter, mutatis mutandis, was sent on the same date to the Secretary of War. Marginal note on the original reads: “Mr. Denby of FEA has seen this letter and concurs.”
  2. See memorandum to the British Embassy, June 29, 1943, Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. iii, p. 57.
  3. Maj. Gen. Glen E. Edgerton, Director of Material, Army Service Forces.