Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State (Long) to the Secretary of State

Mr. Secretary: Attached hereto are two drafts7 in definition of policy.

[Page 1484]

One concerns the natural resources of the subsoil and seabed of the continental shelf.

The other concerns fisheries in certain areas of the high seas contiguous to the coast of the United States.

You will recall that the President requested you to designate someone to discuss these two questions with the representative of Secretary Ickes. You designated me and Secretary Ickes designated Assistant Secretary Straus.

We met in the Department of State. Mr. Straus brought with him his specialists9 and sitting with me were Mr. Bishop (Le), Mr. Charles Rayner,10 Mr. Ribble,11 Mr. Boggs,12 and Mr. Sturgeon.13

We came to a general understanding. A subcommittee was appointed to define that understanding and the subcommittee agreed and the persons attending the conference all agreed on the text.

Before issuing it to the Department of Interior with our approval I considered it advisable to present it to the Policy Committee.

On August 3 it was presented to the Policy Committee and was therein discussed and was approved by the Policy Committee with the suggestion made at the instigation of Mr. Hawkins14 that the matter be referred to ECA15 for further study.

With the exception of ECA, there has been no difference of opinion in the Department.

We have had a number of long conferences with ECA and much time has elapsed since the date of your letter to Secretary Ickes, June 28, 1944,16 and the date of the Interdepartmental meeting with the representatives of the Department of Interior, July 15, 1944.

ECA is in practical agreement with the texts of the two proposed decisions which are attached hereto and lie immediately under this memorandum.

While in agreement on the texts, ECA has certain ideas which seem not to be germane to the present purpose, which is an agreement with the Department of Interior on a question of policy.

ECA desires to attach to a statement on policy an expression of how that policy shall be pursued. In other words, ECA raises an [Page 1485] administrative problem, which in my opinion is not related to the decision of policy. The question of how the policy shall be executed will be up from time to time all through the future as the policy is considered for use.

Mr. Hackworth17 has been over these drafts and has approved them and has expressed himself as in agreement with me to the effect that the additional information furnished by ECA is irrelevant to the present purpose. As above stated, the various other interested divisions of the Department have been consulted and they were all represented on the Policy Committee when the matter was rather fully discussed before that Committee.

Mr. Acheson18 is absent but I believe has no reservation materially at variance with the decision of the Policy Committee or with my own decision or that of the officers of the Department of Interior.

Under the circumstances and considering the length of time elapsed and the pressure from the Department of Interior to come to some decision I lay the matter before you and ask your approval.

B[reckinridge] L[ong]
  1. These drafts were the same as Annexes 1 and 2 to the memorandum by the Acting Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Interior, pp. 1491 and 1492, respectively.
  2. Representatives of the Department of the Interior included Mr. Straus; Fowler Harper, Solicitor of the Department of the Interior; Joel Wolfsohn, Assistant Commissioner, General Land Office; William Wrather, Director of the Geological Survey; and Ira Gabrielson, Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service.
  3. Charles B. Rayner, Acting Chief, Petroleum Division.
  4. Frederick D. G. Ribble, Executive Assistant to Assistant Secretary of State Long.
  5. Samuel W. Boggs, Chief of the Division of Geography and Cartography.
  6. Leo D. Sturgeon, Adviser on Fisheries, Office of Economic Affairs.
  7. Harry C. Hawkins, Director, Office of Economic Affairs.
  8. Office of Economic Affairs.
  9. Supra.
  10. Green H. Hackworth, Legal Adviser, Department of State.
  11. Dean G. Acheson, Assistant Secretary of State.