740.00112A EW/8–445: Telegram

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

6550. From ES for Collado49 and King.50 In view of unfortunate psychological effect of mass deletions in Latin America and recent hardening in attitude toward certain totalitarian states is it possible that the British no longer feel so strongly that published lists should promptly be reduced to small hard core? If so we strongly favor policy of no additional group deletions for following reasons:

Task of separately summarizing and evaluating evidence in several thousand cases and of reconciling views of missions, London and Washington is both difficult and expensive. With personnel available [Page 847] it is doubtful whether hard core can be agreed upon in accordance with time schedule of Foot agreement. Effort does not seem to be justified by alleged advantages of merely reducing size of lists particularly since we and Brit contemplate their total withdrawal in a few months and since lists have already been reduced by about 25%. The total withdrawal of list will not require laborious review of all listed names.
Diversion of available trained personnel to categorizing names makes it difficult to give proper attention to other matters which are now urgent such as discovery and freezing of overseas assets. It is also difficult to dispose of important individual cases such as Bata where reorganizations may be desirable before list is withdrawn.
Political situation in certain areas might be complicated by further large scale deletions. For example, our Emb at Buenos Aires strongly opposes further reduction on political grounds.
Mass deletion of relatively serious offenders will be difficult to justify before US public opinion particularly in view of continuance of war against Japan.
The balance of advantage still seems to us to be in favor of maintaining list at approx its present size. See Apr 13 memo51 approved by PL Committee. In many countries US and UK missions assert that deletion program is premature. We do not propose continuance of trade controls which are the real barriers to commerce simply to keep lists effective. But as long as supporting controls are maintained for independent reasons we cannot see how size of list materially affects trade.

The foregoing would not preclude continued deletions in Latin America in accordance with the joint US-UK statement of Sept 194452 nor would it preclude deletion of meritorious cases. If you agree approach Brit high level to ascertain their willingness to maintain active list at about its present size until its withdrawal approx one year after V–E Day. If Brit not agreeable we will of course continue to attempt to meet Foot agreement schedule so as to avoid divergence.

  1. Emilio G. Collado, Director, Office of Financial and Development Policy.
  2. Nat Bozeman King, Special Assistant at the Embassy in London.
  3. Not printed.
  4. See circular telegram, September 21, 1944, Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. ii, p. 188.