The Secretary of State to the Secretary of the Interior ( Ickes )

My Dear Mr. Secretary: Reference is made to your letter of May 23, 1944, regarding the resources of the continental shelf off the coasts of the United States, and to Secretary Hull’s reply dated June 28, 1944, in which Assistant Secretary Long was designated to represent this Department in discussions between the Department of State and the Department of the Interior regarding the policy to be followed by the United States in this matter. In the discussions the Department of the Interior was represented by Assistant Secretary Straus, aided by the Solicitor, Mr. Harper, and the Assistant Commissioner of the General Land Office, Mr. Wolfsohn.

As the result of such discussions the representatives of the two Departments have agreed upon two proposed decisions, one with respect to the natural resources of the subsoil and sea bed of the continental shelf, and the other with respect to fisheries in certain areas of the high seas contiguous to the coast. Copies of the texts of these decisions, which meet with the approval of the Department of State, are enclosed.23 If you likewise approve them it is proposed that they be submitted to the President for his approval. In case they receive the approval of the President, it is proposed to make them known informally to representatives of the foreign governments primarily concerned, and to learn the reactions of those governments, before steps are taken to make the decisions public.

Sincerely yours,

Edward R. Stettinius, Jr.
  1. See annexes 1 and 2 to memorandum by the Acting Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Interior to President Roosevelt, January 22, 1945, pp. 1491 and 1492, respectively.