740.00119 (Potsdam)/5–2446

No. 524
Briefing Book Paper1
top secret

Soviet Cooperation in Solving Immediate European Economic Problems


That the Soviet Union be urged and encouraged to participate actively with the United States, the United Kingdom, and other countries in combined endeavors to solve the critical problems of European relief and reconstruction. The following steps seem particularly important:

1. Russian Participation in European Economic Organizations.

It is recommended that we endeavor to secure agreement from the Soviet Government to participate fully in the Emergency Economic Committee for Europe (EECE), European Coal Organization (ECO), the European Central Inland Transport Organization (ECITO), and the United Maritime Authority (UMA), including designation of representatives to cooperate in the day-to-day activities of these organizations.2

2. UNRRA .

It is recommended that Soviet agreement be sought on the following steps, now proposed by the United States to strengthen UNRRA: (1) that UNRRA countries must maximize local production of relief supplies, that UNRRA should have first call on any surpluses developing in the countries it is assisting for use elsewhere, that UNRRA should have a claim equal to all others on using surpluses available in territories adjacent to UNRRA countries, that UNRRA countries must assume responsibility for their own food needs beginning with 1946 harvests, and that the operations of UNRRA field personnel must be facilitated in every way; (2) UNRRA needs more effective organization, [Page 791] and US, UK and USSR should make available competent administrative personnel in substantial numbers, and (3) additional contributions to UNRRA should be sought from such possible sources as non-member United Nations, European neutrals who might make a contribution on a non-member basis, and UNRRA members now contributing only to administrative expenses.

3. American and Russian Economic Relationship in Countries of Eastern Europe.

It is recommended that the President request the USSR to agree: (1) to stop removals from the countries of Eastern Europe of capital equipment, wholly or substantially owned by American nationals; to return capital equipment previously removed; and to insure that these countries make adequate, effective and prompt compensation to American nationals for such equipment which cannot be returned and for current output delivered on reparations account; (2) to permit American nationals to enter, move about freely and carry on commercial and government operations unmolested in these countries; and (3) not to conclude treaties, agreements or arrangements which give to the USSR an exclusive or monopolistic position in the trade, raw materials or industry of these countries, or which deny to American nationals access on equal terms to such trade, raw materials or industry, and to modify any existing arrangements to that effect.


It is vital to the maintenance of good relations among the Soviet Union, the United States and the United Kingdom that measures taken with respect to and in conjunction with the other countries of Europe be combined undertakings as among the three principal countries. The alternative is rivalry. Such rivalry would not only retard the reconstruction of Europe, but would tend to weaken the bonds of friendship and mutual respect which now unite the Soviet Union, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Early restoration of the economic life of the countries of Europe is vital to the establishment of a durable peace. The foreign economic policies of the United States are designed to help other nations establish quickly the basis for their economic life. In the absence of close cooperation among the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom, the revival of European production will be retarded; food, coal, and other essential goods will be maldistributed; and the transportation system will be inadequate. It is hoped, consequently, that the Soviet Union will join with the United States and the United Kingdom in a concerted effort to solve the wide range of emergency economic problems which now confront them in Europe.

  1. Annex 7 to the attachment to document No. 177.
  2. For information on the establishment and functions of these agencies, see Department of State Bulletin, vol. xi, pp. 358–361; vol. xii, p. 910; vol. xiii, pp. 55–57, 305–306, 879–882.