The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Harriman)
Washington, March 3, 1945—9 p.m.
484. The suggestion contained in your 489, February 21 was referred to the President’s Soviet Protocol Committee which has commented to the following effect:
- Messages from Moscow have approved increased petroleum shipments to the Soviet Union as a military requirement. The Soviet Government was informed in the Depts note of February 2, 194567 that every effort would be made to meet its needs for these products. It may be presumed that military plans may be seriously delayed by failure to deliver.
- For nearly 4 years the Committee has followed a policy laid down by the President and Mr. Hopkins68 which precludes a barter basis with respect to Lend-Lease for the achievement of political or diplomatic ends.
- As only 4 months remain to complete the Fourth Protocol, it would be desirable to postpone a major policy decision of this nature until the policies to be established in connection with the Fifth Protocol are promulgated at which time major military and political objectives could be related to over-all policies with respect to the supply of Lend-Lease aid to the Soviet Union.69
- For text of note from the Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé of the Soviet Union, February 2, 1945, see p. 971.↩
- Harry L. Hopkins, Special Assistant to the President.↩
- In his telegram 976, March 30, from Moscow, Ambassador Harriman responded in part as follows: “The Rumanian oil question is a war production matter. Our proposal that there be established in Rumania a tri-partite commission of experts is primarily to insure maximum production of petroleum products for the war. It does not seem logical that we should go to great sacrifices in supplying the Russians with petroleum products when it appears to be the opinion of American Representatives in Rumania that the Soviets are not taking full advantage of the potentialities of the Rumanian production for the combined war effort.” (871.6363/3–3045)↩