The Secretary of the Treasury (Morgenthau) to the President
My Dear Mr. President: During the last year I have discussed several times with Ambassador Harriman a plan which we in the Treasury have been formulating for comprehensive aid to Russia [Page 310] during her reconstruction period.1 We are not thinking of more Lend-Lease or any form of relief but rather of an arrangement that will have definite and long range benefits for the United States as well as for Russia.
Ambassador Harriman has expressed great interest and would like to see the plan advanced. I understand from him that the Russians are reluctant to take the initiative, but would welcome our presenting a constructive program.
You will recall that at Quebec Mr. Churchill showed every evidence that his greatest worry was the period immediately following V–E Day. We have now worked out a Phase 2 Lend-Lease program with the British after two months of very hard work.
I am convinced that if we were to come forward now and present to the Russians a concrete plan to aid them in the reconstruction period it would contribute a great deal towards ironing out many of the difficulties we have been having with respect to their problems and policies.
If a financial plan of this nature interests you at this time, I would appreciate an early opportunity to discuss it with you and Mr. Stettinius.
I am sending Mr. Stettinius a copy of this letter.
- For a Treasury Department memorandum of March 7, 1944, on the proposed loan to the Soviet Union, see Accessibility of Strategic and Critical Materials to the United States in Time of War and for Our Expanding Economy, Senate Report No. 1627, 83d Cong., 2d sess., pp. 370–372.↩
- In reply to Morgenthau’s message to Stettinius of January 1, 1945, transmitting a copy of this letter, Acting Secretary Grew stated on January 15 that the Department had been considering these matters and would be pleased to discuss them with Morgenthau and members of the Treasury staff (861.50/1-245).↩