Truman Papers

No. 1186
Prime Minister Attlee to President Truman

My Dear Mr. President, Thank you for your letter of July 291 on the subject of Munitions Supplies on Lend Lease in Stage II. While I will not disguise my disappointment that it has not been found possible to accept in its entirety our understanding as set out in the memorandum which was attached to Mr. Churchill’s letter of July 24,21 sincerely appreciate your desire, as stated in your letter of July 25,3 to get a construction of the new Lend Lease Renewal Act so as to cause the least difficulty and embarrassment to us in the prosecution of the war against Japan.

In accepting your decision I earnestly trust you will agree:—

That detailed instructions applying this decision to the British and defining the portion of our Stage II requirements as now revised which under this decision can qualify for Lend Lease can be agreed as soon as possible with our representatives in Washington and
That meantime the shipment of supplies destined for the Far Eastern operational theatre or for bases or lines of communication serving that theatre may go forward without delay. There are, I am told, supplies of that category which are currently available in Washington and are urgently required by us in connection with forthcoming operations.

With reference to the application of this decision to the British referred to in (a) above, I enclose a draft which, from the informal discussions which have taken place here, would seem to provide a basis for agreement in Washington consistently [sic] with your letter; and I would venture to express] the hope that; those who are charged with the day to day executive action under this arrangement may be given to understand your desire to place a liberal construction upon the document as finally agreed.

In particular I trust that your decision which eliminates our requirements for occupational forces will not be taken to imply that the efficient maintenance of these forces is of small importance, and that they can be stripped of equipment. The effective control of Germany and Austria is a vital matter for us, and its importance is specifically recognised in paragraph 4 of the C. C. S. final report4 which you and my predecessor recently approved.

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I have noted what you say about post-war economic arrangements and I shall look forward to hearing from you after Mr. Clayton has reported to you in Washington.

May I conclude by assuring you of my personal appreciation of the most helpful attitude you have adopted in dealing with this matter which is of such great importance to us.

Yours very sincerely,

C. R. Attlee
Requirements accepted under the terms of the President’s letter of 29th July are to include the following:—
Items included in the schedules of British requirements which are to be shipped directly to the Far East or to units outside that area but designated for that area.
Items required for bases which serve the Far Eastern operational theatre even although the bases themselves are outside of the area.
Items required for the lines of communication to the Far Eastern Operational theatre provided they are to be used in connection with the prosecution of the war against Japan.
Items required for essential military purposes in other areas and needed solely to replace similar items which, owing to the time factor, have had to be transferred to the Far Eastern operational theatre.
Such proportion of the components required for the manufacture of military stores outside the United States as may be held to be required for the prosecution of the war against Japan.
Note. The first four classifications cover main items and spares, and all five classifications shall qualify for Lend-Lease irrespective of whether the items are made solely in the United States or not.
The requirements as defined above shall be accepted for procurement to the extent that production facilities exist and as far as possible they shall be produced in addition to the United States own needs.
Assignments shall be made to the British (within the total quantity accepted for procurement) where the items are in easy supply. Where, however, the items are in short supply the share of available supplies allocated to the British must continue to be conditioned by the consideration of operational priorities.