The British Embassy to the Department of State


In his telegram No. 74318a to the Prime Minister, President Roosevelt agreed to His Majesty’s Government’s scheme for sending relief supplies to enemy occupied Holland through the lines.

In his telegram No. 740, President Roosevelt suggested that His Majesty’s Government should inform Marshal Stalin. But in his telegram No. 743, in approving the message proposed by His Majesty’s Government to the German Government through the Swiss Government, the President appeared to make his approval subject to approval by Marshal Stalin, as distinct from asking that Marshal Stalin be informed.
His Majesty’s Government see no reason for doing more than notifying Marshal Stalin since
they have had most reassuring accounts of the way which supplies allowed through the blockade from Sweden have been distributed so far under the supervision of the Swedish Red Cross observers;
even if any food were diverted by the German Army it could not possibly reach any Germans fighting the Russians;
there will be no direct contact with any German authorities.
The matter is most urgent. Even on the present reduced scale, rations in the area will only last another fortnight. If Soviet consent is sought the whole plan may be held up indefinitely.
In the circumstances His Majesty’s Government urgently invite the United States Government to concur in the despatch of the attached message from the Prime Minister to Marshal Stalin.19
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed; it stated that the United Kingdom and the United States were prepared to send food and medical supplies through the International Red Cross to those parts of the Netherlands still under German occupation (856.48/4–1345).