740.00112 Black List/2–645

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Secretary of State

No. 20860

Sir: With reference to the Department’s telegram 9756 of November 20, 19442 requesting this Embassy to discuss with the British the question of suggesting to all Allied governments in the Eastern Hemisphere that they issue lists parallel to the Proclaimed and Statutory Lists3 and also that they observe these lists in the post-war period, I have the honor to report on the current status of this matter.

The Embassy’s telegram 11,192 of December 162 contained the verbatim comments of Mr. E. H. Bliss of the Ministry of Economic Warfare on the Department’s suggestions. The following report is submitted to give the Department a summary of the current position which has altered somewhat from that described in the Embassy’s telegram 11,192.

(A) Belgium:

In December, it will be recalled, MEW4 preferred to view the question of an approach to Allied Governments with the suggestion that they issue lists parallel to the Proclaimed and Statutory Lists on a wider basis—at least insofar as the co-belligerents in Western Europe were concerned. At that time the Belgians were merely contemplating economic warfare controls and MEW thought that immediate steps should be taken to speed up their reactions in this respect. The Belgian Government has apparently now promulgated economic warfare controls substantially along the lines desired by the British and, as [Page 828] was stated in the Embassy’s telegram 402 of January 12,5 they will adopt a Black List, although its actual publication in the Official Journal will be delayed owing to the necessity of including the latest supplements to the Statutory List in theirs and the shortage of labor and paper.

(B) Italy:

The position with respect to Italy has not, to this Embassy’s knowledge, altered from that described in the Embassy’s telegram 11,192. It would appear that we could achieve our aims by a joint approach with the British through or with the approval of the Allied Control Commission. However, as was pointed out in the Embassy’s telegram 512 of January 15,5 economic warfare considerations such as the Proclaimed List have not apparently been taken into account with respect to Italy, judging from Tarn airgram 24 of October 115 from AGWAR to AFHQ, which set forth the policy of dealings between Italy and neutral countries. The Embassy suggests that appropriate steps be taken through the Allied Control Commission to obtain the issuance and/or observance of the Proclaimed and Statutory Lists by the Italian Government.6

(C) Norway:

There has been no change as regards Norway, but the Department may wish to discuss this question with Mr. Bliss during his visit to Washington following his return from his current visit to Switzerland.

(D) Russia:

The position with respect to Russia in December was rather doubtful, from MEWs point of view, as it was felt that the idea of economic warfare was new to the Russians and it was desirable to give it an opportunity to develop with the Russians. At that time, an approach had been made to the Russians on the Control Commission in Finland because of the resumption of trade between Sweden and Finland. The Soviet representative at Helsinki7 agreed then to measures aimed at preventing Statutory-listed firms in Sweden from dealing with Finland. However, it is believed by MEW that, although these [Page 829] arrangements are probably adequate for immediate purposes, they do not go far enough, as, ostensibly, they cover only Swedish exporters. Eventually it is hoped to obtain Russian agreement to prevent any transactions with Finland, whether exports, imports, or financial operations on the part of Statutory-listed firms in Sweden. It is also hoped eventually to institute in Finland import control by means of certificates of origin.

Recently, the question of Soviet cooperation in enforcing the Statutory List has arisen in connection with other countries. On January 3, on the basis of a report from Stockholm that Soviet-Swedish trade was shortly to be resumed, MEW cabled to the British Embassy in Moscow suggesting that the Soviet Government be invited to refrain from dealings with and to deny facilities within their control to persons and firms on the Statutory List in Sweden and elsewhere. A copy of the Ministry’s Arfar8 1 of January 3 to Moscow is attached as Enclosure No. I.9 The reference telegram Arfar 64 from Moscow was quoted in this Embassy’s despatch 18,383 of October 3, 1944.9

A further example of the need for an approach to the Soviet Government to obtain its observance of the Statutory and Proclaimed Lists was contained in telegram 79 of December 199 to this Embassy from Ankara, repeating a message to the Department, which stated that Proclaimed-listed firms in Turkey were being allowed to trade with Bulgaria. The Embassy’s telegram 341 of January 109 informed the Department that MEW, after discussions with the Foreign Office, intended to raise this question as a general issue with the Russian Government as well as to have it raised specifically with the British members of the Allied Control Commission in Bulgaria. On January 17 the British Military Mission in Bulgaria was informed in this connection that the British Government has no objection to the principle of the resumption of Bulgaria’s foreign trade provided that commercial or financial transactions with Statutory-listed firms are not permitted and also that imports of goods of enemy origin or interest are prohibited by demanding, in the case of imports from Turkey and the four European neutrals, the production of certificates of origin.

On January 31, in order to raise the subject as a general issue with the Soviet Government, MEW wrote to the British Embassy in Moscow, suggesting that a general approach be made to the Russians on this subject. A copy of the Ministry’s Savingram is attached as Enclosure No. 2.10

[Page 830]

It will be observed that recent events, particularly resumption of trade between Russia and neutral countries and liberated countries in which Russia has a predominant interest, has necessitated a further approach to the Russians for a clearer expression of their position vis-à-vis the Allied lists. It will be noted that the British Savingram of January 31 has left the decision as to the best means of obtaining these ends to the British Mission. The Department may wish to send similar instructions to the American Embassy in Moscow, which is being furnished with a copy of this despatch for its information. The Embassy suggests, however, that, inasmuch as the original approach to the Soviet Government on the question of observance of the Statutory List was made by the British alone in connection with the Russian Government’s observance of the post-hostilities Statutory List (see Embassy’s despatch 18,383 of October 3, 1944) it is unnecessary for an approach to be made jointly by the American and British Embassies in Moscow, unless a joint approach is felt by both Missions to be preferable. While it has normally been the practice in the past to make approaches to neutral European governments on a joint basis with the British on listing and other economic warfare matters, the Embassy believes that it may be undesirable to approach another Allied government on a joint basis in such matters. Furthermore, it might be noted that, if the British are successful in obtaining the Soviet Government’s observance of the Statutory List with respect to neutral European countries, that Government’s observance of the Proclaimed List for these countries would automatically follow.

The Department’s reference telegram also raised the question as to whether the Allied Governments had received memoranda similar to that which was sent to the Norwegian Ministry of Supply (reference Embassy’s telegram 6538 of August 14, 194411). The Ministry has informed the Embassy that copies of this memorandum have been sent to representatives of the Belgian, French, and Netherlands Governments by the Ministry of Production which, MEW states, is in closer touch with these Allies than MEW.

Respectfully yours,

For the Ambassador:
John W. Easton

Lt. Colonel, F. A., Economic Warfare Division
  1. Missing from Department files.
  2. The Proclaimed List of Certain Blocked Nationals, issued July 17, 1941, named certain persons deemed to be acting for the benefit of Germany or Italy or nationals of those countries and persons to whom the exportation, directly or indirectly, of various articles or materials was deemed to be detrimental to the interest of national defense. For text of the proclamation, see Department of State Bulletin, July 19, 1941, p. 42. The British Statutory List was similar in scope to the Proclaimed List.
  3. Missing from Department files.
  4. British Ministry of Economic Warfare.
  5. Not printed.
  6. Not printed.
  7. Not printed.
  8. The Department and the Foreign Office decided that the approach to the Italian Government on the adoption of the Proclaimed and Statutory Lists should be made jointly by the American and British Embassies in Italy. Negotiations began in March, and on August 7, 1945, the American Embassy in Italy cabled that the Italian Government was drafting a decree and that “its practical effect will be to apply sanctions [to] all persons included in Proclaimed List”. (740.65112A/8–745) Apparently, the Italian Government had not formally adopted the Lists by the close of 1945, but agreement was near.
  9. Pavel Dmitriyevich Orlov, Political Adviser to the Allied Control Commission for Finland.
  10. British communications indicator.
  11. Not printed.
  12. Not printed.
  13. Not printed.
  14. Not printed.
  15. Not printed, but see instruction 341, November 2, 1944, to Moscow, Foreign Relation, 1944, vol ii, p. 193.
  16. Not printed.