Memorandum by the Secretary of State to President Roosevelt
I refer to the memorandum of April 30, 194465 from the White House transmitting a paraphrased copy of message no. 665 from the British Prime Minister, in which there is set forth the urgent need for additional shipping if the probability of a recurrence of famine conditions in India is to be averted.[Page 273]
This matter was immediately referred to the Joint Chiefs of Staff66 with the statement that in the Department’s opinion the appeal of the Prime Minister should be granted if it should be found to be at all feasible to do so in keeping with the over-all demands of the war situation.
A reply dated May 29, 194467 has now been received from the Joint Chiefs of Staff in which it is stated that they are unable on military grounds to consent to the diversion of shipping necessary to meet the Prime Minister’s request, because of the adverse effect such diversion would have upon military operations already undertaken or in prospect. A copy of this reply is enclosed.
In accordance with the directive contained in the memorandum of April 30, 1944, there is also enclosed for your consideration a draft of a reply to the Prime Minister.