The Secretary of State to the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Bevin)

Dear Mr. Bevin: I regret that some delay has occurred in sending you a definite reply to your letter of September 17, 1945 on the contemplated transfer of German works of art from the United States zone to the United States, The reason for this delay was the result of my desire to meet your wishes in this matter, which involved discussions with a number of officials.

The situation is now as follows: There will not be any large movement of German art treasures to the United States; the bulk of such objects will remain in Germany. However, it has not been possible for our military authorities to find adequate storage facilities for all these art treasures where they could be properly cared for and would not deteriorate. Consequently, we have decided to bring to this country, as a temporary measure, approximately one carload, and arrangements have been made to that end. This action is strongly recommended by our experts in the field who are convinced that the selection they have made cannot be properly cared for in Germany during this winter. We have made arrangements to ship these art treasures under expert supervision.

In these circumstances, I hope you will agree that there is no serious objection to the trustee arrangements which we have made in this matter.

Sincerely yours,

James F. Byrnes