The Assistant Secretary of State (Acheson) to the Secretary of State

A draft French lend-lease agreement has now been approved in the Department. It conforms to the Memorandum of July 15, which was agreed to by the Department, War Department, and Treasury, with reservations by FEA. This memorandum was approved by the President on July 18.

Monnet has now returned to Washington with authority to negotiate a lend-lease agreement and will be approaching the Department in the near future with an anticipated request for urgent action to complete negotiations. While I do not anticipate the difficulties with the Treasury now that we have accepted Morgenthau’s general approach, I do expect considerable opposition from FEA to the tightening [Page 763] of the lend-lease terms as now proposed. The progress of events in France since July justifies, in my opinion, the narrower approach to French lend-lease as already approved by the President, and may also satisfy the previous opposition to this approach which has existed in FEA. I am afraid, however, that submitting another revised draft to Treasury and FEA will accentuate the policy differences between the two agencies that have existed in this matter and will delay au approach to the French for further negotiation which may have unfortunate political repercussions.

Under the circumstances, I am wondering whether you would be willing to call both Morgenthau and Crowley16 stating that the Department has prepared a revised draft of the lend-lease agreement for French following the terms already approved by the President in July, and asking them to meet with you and myself at an early date to discuss the finally revised proposal, which thereafter can be presented to the French.

Dean Acheson

[The following agreements between the United States and France were signed at Washington, February 28, 1945: Agreement between the United States and France relating to principles applying to mutual aid and the prosecution of the war against aggression; agreement relating to supplies and services; and agreement relating to principles applying to the provision of aid to the Armed Forces of the United States, effected by exchange of notes, with accompanying memorandum and exchanges of letters. For texts of agreements, see Department of State Executive Agreement Series No. 455, or 59 Stat, (pt. 2) 1304.]

  1. Leo T. Crowley, Foreign Economic Administrator.