740.00112A EW/4–2145: Telegram

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

3144. As a result of discussions with Mr. Foot33 and the Department, following consultation in the Proclaimed List Committee, the Department is recommending to the Committee and the identical proposal is being made to MEW and the Black List Committee, a proposal which follows approximately the pattern hereinafter set forth:

Shortly after V–E Day,34 the lists for the eastern hemisphere will be reduced by elimination of minor offenders.
Approximately 4 months thereafter, a further cut will be made in the lists by the elimination of the intermediate class of offenders.
The residual hard core will remain on the lists until the lists are withdrawn, which date is tentatively set at approximately one year after V–E Day, subject to the continuation of adequate controls.

It is being suggested that for the western hemisphere a program very similar to that already in operation will be followed, of withdrawing the list more rapidly in those Latin American countries which cooperate than those which do not.

It has been agreed that a working party will be established in London to screen the names on the Proclaimed and Statutory Lists for the eastern hemisphere area in order to set up the categories which are outlined above. In view of the urgency of this matter it is desired immediately to establish this working party in London in order that fat least the category of “minor offenders” can be set up as soon as possible. You are therefore directed to consult with MEW, which will be in receipt of similar instructions, in order to establish such a working party. The urgency of this matter will be appreciated.

In advance of the full text of the Department’s recommendation, which is being sent to you shortly, the following are the standards upon which agreement has been reached and which are to be used in establishing the category of minor offenders, which are called Class A in the document:

“It is agreed that the following categories of names will be included in Class A. In all cases regard will be had for the prestige of the lists and for our past public declarations, and for the advice of the missions.

Persons whose objectionable operations have been few and unimportant.
Persons whose offenses have consisted in dealings with others on the lists unless (1) such dealings which resulted in listing were carried on after warnings from the missions or (2) were on such a scale as to impair appreciably the effects of listing on the listed firms in question.
Persons whose enemy nationality was the principal factor in their listing, except that the possibility that the person may be subject to repatriation should be taken into account in considering such cases for deletion.
Persons listed solely or primarily because of their identification with a listed firm should be deleted when that firm is deleted.”

This recommendation has a top secret designation and should be communicated only to your British colleague.

This telegram is being repeated to the American missions in Lisbon, Madrid, Bern, Stockholm and Ankara35 with instructions to forward as promptly to London and to Department their recommendations in the sense of the foregoing.

  1. Dingle Foot, Parliamentary Secretary, British Ministry of Economic Warfare. Discussions were held between Mr. Foot, representatives of the British Embassy at Washington, and officers of the Department April 16–21, 1945, concerning the withdrawal of the Proclaimed and Statutory Lists after the cessation of hostilities in Europe.
  2. Victory in Europe. Germany surrendered on May 8, 1945.
  3. Sent as 631 to Lisbon, 664 to Madrid, 1543 to Bern, 724 to Stockholm, and 439 to Ankara with the following additional paragraph:

    “The above telegram which has been sent to the American Embassy, London, is repeated to you for your action as soon as possible in accordance with it. You should attempt to formulate your recommendations, especially with respect to the list of minor offenders contemplated in this telegram, and to forward such recommendations to American Embassy, London, and to Department as quickly as possible.”