Memorandum by Mr. Llewellyn E. Thompson, Jr., of the Division of Eastern European Affairs, to the Deputy Director of the Office of European Affairs (Hickerson)

One of the most practical items which this Government might attempt to obtain from the Soviet Union in the form of reverse Lend-Lease is a building for our mission in Moscow.32 Plans have already-been drawn up by the Foreign Buildings Office which include a chancery, embassy and living quarters for officers and clerical personnel.

It is believed that such a plan is particularly appropriate in Moscow as the housing situation is probably more acute there than at any other post and will probably remain so for many years to come. Moreover, the question of labor and materials in the Soviet Union is so great as virtually to preclude our ever being able to build there on the basis of a Congressional appropriation. An added reason is that the Russians have never been willing to give us a sufficiently long lease on a site to justify our building, and they will not sell land outright.

It is not believed that we should attempt at this stage to obtain buildings for our consulate at Vladivostok under reverse Lend-Lease.

The question of reverse Lend-Lease with the Soviet Union is tied in with the question of the possible extension of a postwar credit with the USSR. The Soviet Union will have raw materials which would be useful to us for stockpiling, but the furnishing of such materials on this basis would seriously prejudice the prospects of the USSR being able to repay any credit that may be extended.

Llewellyn E. Thompson, Jr.
  1. For earlier documentation on the inability to reach a satisfactory agreement with the Soviet Union for the construction of an Embassy building in Moscow, see Foreign Relations, The Soviet Union, 1933–1939, index entries under American Embassy in Moscow, p. 1017. For documentation on lend-lease and reverse lend-lease, see post, pp. 937 ff.