740.00119 EAC/3–1145: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Secretary of State 38

2532. In reading over the Embassy’s 2531, March 11, I would like to make the following comments and request a firm commitment by the Department in its reply to the question which I have raised.

In the first place the above message was worked out by the London section of the MEA. You will remember that Hawkins39 was rejected as head of that Mission and that Blaisdale [Blaisdell],40 who was appointed more than a month ago, has not yet reached London. Therefore, it is without top guidance. I have felt that since the substance related to a matter that you had taken up personally at Yalta that you would want me to forward it. However, after talking with Judge Rosenman and the MEA people responsible for it in the Embassy, I wanted you also to know that they were in agreement with my comments and do not wish to interfere with the work of the European Advisory Commission.

Some months ago I made a collection of all British and United States negotiations that were being conducted at the time and that [Page 1079] were available to me, in order to throw some light on Russian methods of negotiation and objectives. I did this to help me in my work with the European Advisory Commission.

In tabulating their approach to problems in the enemy occupied areas of Germany, in UNRRA discussions and elsewhere, it was evident that their concern for the defeated Allies was plainly secondary to satisfying the demands of the three military powers that were responsible for the defeat of Germany. They were completely frank in asking for priority for Russian claims over those of overrun European Allies and there was complete confirmation of this approach in the discussions on reparations at Yalta.

On all the evidence that is available to us there has been and still is extreme suffering and want and wanton destruction in the invaded areas of Russia. I understand and sympathize with the British proposal which, as this message indicates, has support from some of our people, to persuade Russia in joining in contributing to the total need of those suffering from want and need in both eastern and western Europe. The argument is based on the assumption that the Russians have been able to recapture those areas in the east that are referred to as the bread basket of Europe.

Whatever the position of the State Department may be in relation to Russian aid in eastern Europe, with its present knowledge of the political situation in Rumania and Poland, it involves an area completely outside my jurisdiction.

The question which concerns me is the discussion of Russian aid in western Europe, with its political implications and direct impact on the work of the European Advisory Commission. It would be very easy in informal consultations by a joint United States-British Mission to Moscow to raise points in regard to the surplus food production in the Russian zone in Germany that would destroy any bargaining power that I might have in negotiating to protect the consumption needs in the American zone without even being aware that there was such a problem.

The same thing could have happened in the ECO41 in relation to coal in Germany if we had not had complete coordination between the ECO and the European Advisory Commission because of Hawkins and Penrose.42 There is no coal in the United States zone of occupation of Germany.

The question I want to raise and on which I want a firm answer is whether or not you will so coordinate the work of special missions and the establishment of other inter-Allied authorities as not to interfere with the terms of reference of the European Advisory Commission. [Page 1080] It is impossible to negotiate successfully if, without notice, there is interference in the assigned area of jurisdiction of the Commission.

I am sure you will understand this.

  1. Ambassador Winant was the American Representative on the European Advisory Commission meeting in London. For documentation regarding the work of this Commission, see vol. iii, pp. 1 ff.
  2. Harry C. Hawkins, Counselor of Embassy for Economic Affairs
  3. Thomas C. Blaisdell was formally notified of his appointment as Chief of Mission for Economic Affairs in London by President Roosevelt in his letter dated March 13, 1945. For text of letter, see Department of State Bulletin, March 18, 1945, p. 440.
  4. European Coal Organization.
  5. E. F. Penrose, Adviser and Special Assistant to Ambassador Winant.