The British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
(Eden) to the Secretary of State
[Yalta,] February 11, 1945.
My Dear Ed: I had hoped to table the question of
Relief Supplies for Europe, which is dealt with in the enclosed memorandum,
at one of the meetings of Foreign Secretaries.
As, however, there has not been time to do this, I am sending it to you and
M. Molotov18 for your
Yours very sincerely
Memorandum by the British Delegation
Relief Supplies for Europe
The problem of relief for Europe increases in proportion with the area
and population liberated. It is already acute in Mediterranean and
North-West European countries, and we assume that the difficulties are
equally large in Eastern European countries. The position is made
increasingly difficult by scarcity of shipping and bottle-necks in port
capacity and inland transport. The shortage of shipping is likely to
continue after the end of the German war and will remain a limiting
factor on the quantity of bulk commodities, particularly food and coal,
which can be imported from overseas into Europe. The most important
problem is food.
2. If therefore a scarcity of food in large areas of Europe is to be
prevented on a scale which would lead to disease and unrest and endanger
the economic and administrative structure, the three Great Powers should
plan to make the most of resources available from all sources. It is
therefore suggested that:
- All measures to encourage local production of food-stuffs and
raw materials in short supply in German and previously
German-occupied territories should be taken.
- The level of food production in areas which normally have
exportable surpluses should be maintained or increased. The most
important of these are eastern Germany, Hungary and Roumania, in
all of which the production of food has been affected adversely
by the recent course of the war.
- Imports from overseas into the deficiency areas, local
production and imports from surplus areas in Europe should be
co-ordinated in such a way as to prevent disease and
Sufficient information is not available to enable us to put forward a
definite proposal at this conference. We suggest therefore that the
question be remitted for immediate further study in Moscow by officials
of the three Governments who are expert in such matters. Other related
questions such as the use of the services of U.N.R.R.A. and the
possibility of using Black Sea ports for the import of relief supplies
might usefully be discussed at the same time.