No. 624
The Secretary of State to the Petroleum Administrator for War (Ickes)
top secret

My Dear Mr. Ickes: Various reports have come to my attention regarding the interest of your administration in the matter of obtaining petroleum supplies from Eastern Europe to assist the deficiencies of Western European countries. I am therefore taking this opportunity to inform you regarding recent developments of the oil situation in Eastern Europe.

I am enclosing for your information three documents which I believe will be of interest to you in this regard:

The Department’s airgram to Moscow, dated June 29, 1945.1
Policy document under the subject “Use of American Property by Satellite Countries for Reparation”.2
Agreement captioned “Concerning the Reciprocal Delivery of Goods between Roumania and the USSR”.3

It will be noted from the above-mentioned airgram that the American Ambassador in Moscow is fully apprised of the important aspects of the oil situation in Eastern Europe and of the inseparable relation between the rapid rehabilitation of the petroleum industry and maintenance of maximum production in these countries and the global production required to meet the enormously expanded military and essential civilian needs.

The reparations document sets forth the policy of the United States Government and provides for the protection of American property in its relation to reparation payments in satellite countries. This document is being forwarded to the American diplomatic representatives in the various countries of Eastern Europe with instructions that it be used as a guide in all matters relating to this subject.

The USSR–Rumanian agreement in effect provides that virtually Rumania’s entire petroleum exports be delivered to the Soviet Union, that extensive new petroleum concessions be placed under Soviet [Page 946] control, and that a Soviet controlled petroleum monopoly be established. The information in this document may be used in studies or reports classified as confidential, secret, or top secret provided that reference is not made to the use of the text of this agreement and the material is not directly quoted.

The Department has prepared, inter alia, appropriate recommendations for the President in his forthcoming conversations with the heads of other governments under the caption of “American and Russian Economic Relationship in Countries of Eastern Europe”4 and dealing with such matters as removals of American properties, entry and freedom of movement of United States nationals in countries of Eastern Europe, and economic interests of the United States in these countries.

I suggest that specific phases of the over-all petroleum situation in Eastern Europe in which you may be interested be discussed on an informal basis between members of our respective staffs at some future date mutually agreed upon. I believe this to be appropriate expedient [sic] pending the outcome of the conference among certain chiefs of states and the subsequent development of full information by the American diplomatic representatives in the countries concerned.

I am addressing similar letters to the Secretary of War, the Secretary of the Navy, and the Administrator, Foreign Economic Administration.5

Sincerely yours,

For the Secretary of State:
William L. Clayton

Assistant Secretary
  1. Document No. 323.
  2. Enclosure to document No. 324.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Document No. 322.
  5. Henry L. Stimson, James Forrestal, and Leo T. Crowley, respectively.