Executive Secretariat Files

Briefing Book Paper

Russian Request for Financing of Acquisitions of Capital Equipment During and After the War


1. The Russians have requested a $6 billion credit at 2¼% with amortization concluding in the thirtieth year to cover both immediate and true postwar acquisitions of industrial equipment.2

2. The Department proposes to inform the Soviets through Ambassador Harriman that no long range industrial equipment can be put into production until agreement be reached on the terms of the lend-lease 3-C agreement which has been under discussion since May 1944, that we desire action on the 3-C agreement before signing the Fourth Protocol (but we should not stand too strongly on this point), and that consideration of postwar credits must be separated from the 3-C negotiations. The Department is now considering with Treasury and FEA proposed final terms.

3. With respect to true postwar credits the Department is considering with the Treasury the lending agency or authority under which such credits might be extended; the effect of extensions of credits to Russia on special terms upon general operations of the Export-Import Bank, the proposed Bretton Woods bank, and possible revival of private lending; the possibility of setting the Russian credit apart by some distinctive feature in order to avoid the establishment of restrictive precedents; and the amount of the credit.

4. The Department believes the U. S. S. R. will contract only such credits as it can service. Current Russian gold production of about $200 million a year could service the $6 billion credit on the terms proposed by the Soviets; about $3 billion on usual Export-Import Bank credits.

5. Postwar credits to the U. S. S. R. can serve as a useful instrument in our overall relations with the U. S. S. R.

  1. The following note was attached to this summary: “The subjects treated in this memorandum—credits to Russia and the 3-C negotiations—have been merged because current developments have merged them. The present summary is all that can be prepared today as several proposals are under discussion and no policy decisions have been made. Early next week it will be possible to decide whether to give the President a general background with alternative suggestions or whether it will be possible to report that definitive instructions have been sent to Harriman with respect to 3-C and to make inter-agency agreed recommendations to the President on postwar credits.”
  2. See ante, pp. 310311.