861.51/3023: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Harriman)

211. The Department has submitted for the approval of the President a program for the handling of the various problems referred to in your 253, January 26, 1 p.m. and previous telegrams on this subject.

[Page 1043]

As indicated in the Department’s 83, January 14, the Department’s proposals are in general agreement with your suggestions that discussions be initiated in Moscow in regard to postwar reconstruction. However, the question of the 300 million dollars worth of goods under Lend-Lease is being considered by Hopkins. Moreover, it is felt that negotiations should be carried on through regular diplomatic channels and that these discussions should form an integral part of our over-all relations with the Soviet Union. If the President approves of these proposals they will be incorporated in a telegram to you.

It has been learned on the basis of preliminary considerations given to this matter that we cannot at this time make any definite arrangements for the financing of postwar trade until certain legal limitations have been removed. You should, therefore, in discussing credits with the Soviet authorities limit yourself only to generalities.