Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, by Mr. Harold B. Minor of the Division of Middle Eastern Affairs

Lieutenant-Colonel Pforzheimer65 called personally today to follow up the telephone conversations I have held with Major Patton concerning the British desire to have this Government assume financial responsibility for the movement of American lend-lease goods through Iran.

Colonel Pforzheimer said he was authorized to say the following as coming from General Richards, Budget Officer of the War Department. β€œIn the absence of any change in Combined Staff Directive 109/1, which governs operation of the Iranian Railways, the War Department must continue to hold that the British are responsible financially for the movement of goods through Iran. It is true that the directive does not mention financial responsibility but it has been well understood that this was and continues to be a responsibility of the British Government. Any British desire for a change in the existing situation should be broached directly to the Combined Chiefs of Staff.”

Colonel Pforzheimer said that the British have made a number of informal approaches to the War Department on this subject, through both civilian and military channels. None of these had materialized since the British had apparently been reluctant to broach the subject formally to the Combined Chiefs of Staff. He added that the feeling in the War Department is that the British should bear financial responsibility for the railways since our part has been merely to help them, at their request, with the operation of a specific war project.

  1. Lt. Col. Carl H. Pforzheimer, of the Budget Division, War Department General Staff.↩