740.00112A EW/10–1545: Telegram

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

9290. Dept has discussed with Brit Emb here on basis of tel received by them from MEWFO and on basis your 10752, Oct 1557 question of PL reduction. Please bring following points to attention of Brit:

PL in Eastern Hemisphere was near peak on V–E Day. As of V–E Day List in Western Hemisphere had already been very substantially reduced. If 35% were calculated as of peak of List in both Hemispheres, the resultant figure would seem to us to be more justifiable.
While we sympathize with Brit desire to set definite figure at this time, we wish to point out that we suggested establishment of such a figure six months ago but were unable to reach agreement on this basis at that time. We are now faced with situation here in which composition of list must be calculated on basis of over-all policies of our Govts rather than on arbitrary conformity to particular figure. We cannot operate completely divorced from recommendations of missions in Latin America and from desire of those Latin American governments which have cooperated with us to have List maintained for some further period at reasonable figures in order to carry forward replacement and other programs which were initiated only after repeated requests from both of our Govts.
We wish to point out that in many countries consequences of deleting certain names from List will be the return of properties to their former owners and that to the extent that these returns are made our objectives both of economic security and of possible control of such properties for reparation purposes will be defeated. In this connection we point out that the Inter-American Economic and Social Council58 will have its first meetings on Nov 15 and at that time it is planned to present an over-all economic security program and program for bringing the excess of German assets above the claims of the other American republics into reparation pot.
We should point out that the difference between the procedures of the Washington and London Working Parties as described in Brit letter does not to us seem to be real. It is assumed that US representative on London Working Party has concurred in many cases on basis [Page 851] of deference to Brit wishes and that flexibility has been maintained on approximately same basis here in working party negotiations. It is assumed Brit representative has in the main been willing to recommend to his Govt List as it is being compiled by Washington Working Party just as US representative in London has been willing to recommend in its entirety list compiled in London.
We feel considerations above mentioned make it desirable to proceed along course previously suggested by us, namely, adoption of findings of both Working Parties as final. However, in order to reach agreement on this matter we will be willing to recommend to PL Committee suggested proportion of 35% basing that figure on List on both sides at its peak. We feel this figure would enable us to give some, though far from complete weight, to recommendations of missions and to desires of certain of the other American republics for maintenance of List and to preserve our position pending meeting of Inter-American Economic and Social Council which has been mentioned above. Should it become necessary for unforeseen weighty political reasons to increase very substantially the number of names to be retained for a given country (for your info Dept has Argentina in mind) over that now contemplated for that country, the Committee would probably wish to be free to discuss with Brit a slight increase in the over-all 35%. It is anticipated Brit will not object to this reservation since the increase itself would be political question.
We feel Nov 12 sets impossible deadline. We shall have to make haste to effect reduction on Nov 29.59

[On July 9, 1946, the Department of State with the concurrence of the Departments of the Treasury, Justice, and Commerce announced the withdrawal of the Proclaimed List of Certain Blocked Nationals. This measure was decided upon after extensive consultation with the British and Canadian Governments, which were taking similar action with respect to the British Statutory List and the Canadian List of Specified Persons. For text of the announcement, together with a memorandum describing the history and scope of the Proclaimed List, see Department of State Bulletin, July 21, 1946, pages 112 ff. For additional information, see George N. Monsma, “Former Proclaimed List Nationals and American Foreign Trade,” ibid., May 26, 1946, pages 875 ff.]

  1. Not printed.
  2. A permanent Inter-American Economic and Social Council—subsidiary to the Governing Board of the Pan American Union—was created by Resolution IX of the Final Act of the Inter-American Conference on Problems of War and Peace, held at Mexico City, February-March, 1945.
  3. The date decided upon for reduction of the, Proclaimed List was November 26, and on that date the list was reduced by about 5,000 names to a hard core of approximately 6,000 names. For text of a statement released to the press on November 28, 1945, see Department of State Bulletin, December 2, 1945, p. 900.