Memorandum by President Roosevelt10

I do hope that you can get together and straighten out this problem of the Petroleum Reserves Corporation. It is, of course, true that the State Department should handle, in general, matters relating to foreign affairs—but at the present time I think it vital that we should go ahead with some speed in negotiating with the American companies, in order to find out just where the United States stands before we take the matter up with the British. I thought that this policy had been settled at one of our earlier meetings in the White House.

I feel that time is important—because after the war the American position will be greatly weaker than it is today. Can’t we agree on a policy and on the method of putting it into effect?

I am referring especially to the letter of the Secretary of State of January fifth, and the reply thereto by the Secretary of the Interior on January seventh.

F[ranklin] D. R[oosevelt]
  1. Addressed to the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Interior.