Memorandum by the Acting Secretary of State 84

Following some general comments by Mr. Crowley at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting relative to the operations of FEA,85 the President talked about the importance of reducing British dollar balances in this country. He expressed the opinion that it was important politically that these balances be kept at around a billion dollars. Mr. Crowley replied that the State Department and FEA were making headway with the British on this but that negotiations were going rather slowly. The President then asked me to prepare a letter which he could send to Mr. Churchill,86 with a copy to Mr. Eden,87 stating that it was important for the British to arrange their affairs so that their dollar and gold balances would be reduced from the present level of around $1,600,000,000 to around a billion dollars. I should appreciate it if you would have such a letter prepared which I can forward to the President.

E[dward] S[tettinius]
  1. Addressed to the Assistant Secretary of State (Acheson) and the Director of the Office of European Affairs (Dunn).
  2. Foreign Economic Administration.
  3. Winston S. Churchill, British Prime Minister.
  4. Anthony Eden, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.