841.24/5–2945

No. 1180
The Secretary of State to the President1

secret

Memorandum for the President

1.
I have had prepared a new draft reply2 from you to the Prime Minister’s telegram of May 283 regarding Lend-Lease during the Japanese War. It would assure the Prime Minister that it is your intention that deliveries should be made for the prosecution of the war against Japan in accordance with schedules and other terms prepared by Army, Navy, and F. E. A. supply officers in consultation with British representatives last November4 as modified in the light of changing strategic plans as well as of supply, procurement, and allocation considerations. It would remind the Prime Minister that the British dollar position remains at a reasonable level which should permit some relaxation of the exceedingly tight policy of the British with respect to dollar payments.
2.
The schedules prepared last November and modified continuously in the light of changing circumstances are based solely on the efficient prosecution of the war against Japan and have been so presented to the Congress on three occasions: (1) Last November on the conclusion of the Phase II discussions5 and prior to the release of a statement by Secretary Morgenthau and Messrs. Stettinius and Crowley in the United States6 and of an address by the Prime Minister [Page 1178]before the House of Commons;7 (2) Last March and April in hearings on the extension of the Lend-Lease Act;8 and (3) Three weeks ago in hearings on the Lend-Lease appropriation.9
3.
The munitions schedules are in three parts: ground forces, air, and naval. The ground forces schedules and conditions were originally signed on October 23, 1944, by Under Secretary Patterson and Generals Somervell and Clay. The air and fleet air arm schedules and conditions were originally signed on October 31, 1944 by Under Secretary Patterson, Assistant Secretaries Lovett and Gates, General Arnold and Vice-Admiral Fitch. The naval schedules and conditions were originally signed on November 10, 1944, by Vice-Admiral Home. As indicated above, these schedules are constantly subject to strategic and supply decisions of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.10
4.
The non-munitions schedules11 were worked out by Mr. Crowley with representatives of appropriate civilian and military agencies and are also subject to changing strategic and supply considerations. They include only items for the support of the British civilian population in the effective prosecution of the war against Japan, and in no case items relating to rehabilitation and reconstruction of Britain, nor items for export or export manufacture. The principal items are: (1) food; (2) raw materials (cotton, pulp and paper, timber, and synthetic rubber which is matched by reverse lend-lease of crude rubber); (3) petroleum; and (4) shipping services.
5.
Mr. Crowley in the Jane hearings on the Lend-Lease appropriation spelled out in some detail the non-munitions or FEA schedules, and the Congress appropriated the funds as requested.
6.
I believe that these schedules have been prepared and are being handled in accord with the letter of the Lend-Lease Act and with the intent of the Congress and of yourself that Lend-Lease shall be used only in the prosecution of the war against Japan. The Congress has recently had an opportunity to examine the matter in [Page 1179]connection with the appropriation bill and has signified its concurrence by making the funds available.
7.
I therefore recommend that Lend-Lease deliveries to the British Commonwealth proceed in accordance with the above, and that you reply to the Prime Minister as suggested in the attached draft memorandum.
  1. Printed from an unsigned and undated carbon copy typed subsequently. Collado, in an interview with a Department of State historian on April 5, 1954, supplied the information that this memorandum was submitted to Truman by Byrnes at Babelsberg.
  2. The attached paper is identical with document No. 1181.
  3. See vol. i, document No. 537, footnote 5.
  4. See vol. i, document No. 537, footnote 3.
  5. “Phase II” as applied to lend-lease signifies the period between the defeat of Germany and the surrender of Japan.
  6. Text in Leland M. Goodrich and Marie J. Carroll, eds., Documents on American Foreign Relations, July 1944–june 1945 (Princeton, 1947), p. 140.
  7. On November 30, 1944. See Parliamentary Debates: House of Commons Official Report, 5th series, vol. 406, cols. 69–74.
  8. i. e., the hearings before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 79th Congress, 1st Session, February 7–March 6, 1945, printed under the caption, Extension of Lend-Lease Act (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1945), and those before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, March 28 and April 4, 1945, printed under the caption, Lend-Lease (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1945). For the text of the Lend-Lease Act, approved March 11, 1941, see 55 Stat. 31; for the extension referred to, approved April 16, 1945, see 59 Stat. 52.
  9. i. e., the hearings before the Subcommittee on Deficiency Appropriations of the House Committee on Appropriations, June 13–15, 1945, printed under the caption, Second Deficiency Appropriation Bill for 1945 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1945), and those before the Subcommittee on Deficiency Appropriations of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, June 28, 1945, also printed under the caption. Second Deficiency Appropriation Bill for 1945 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1945).
  10. The schedules referred to are not printed.
  11. Not printed.