Memorandum by the Secretary of State to President Roosevelt

Subject: Soviet Request for Long-Term Credits

Molotov has presented to Harriman an aide-mémoire requesting from the United States six billion dollars in post-war credits to run for thirty years at an interest rate of two and one-half percent. In transmitting the text of the aide-mémoire, Harriman has also in the enclosed telegram70 submitted his own reactions thereto which I believe you would be interested in reading in full.

Harriman indicates his belief that the Russians will expect this subject to be discussed at the forthcoming meeting71 and states his view that (1) it is to our interest to assist in the development of the [Page 948]economy of the Soviet Union, (2) the Russians should be given to understand that our cooperation in this respect will depend upon their behavior in international matters, and (3) the discussion of these long-term credits should be wholly divorced from the current lend-lease negotiations.72

E. R. Stettinius, Jr.
  1. No. 61, January 6, 10 a.m., supra.
  2. Penciled marginal notation: “i.e., Yalta”. For passing reference to long-term credits by the United States to the Soviet Union, see minutes of luncheon meeting of the Foreign Ministers, February 5, 1945, Conferences at Malta and Yalta, pp. 608 610.
  3. In a meeting on January 9, the Secretary of State called the attention of Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson and Secretary of the Navy James V. Forrestal to the significance that this aide-mémoire could have in future negotiations with the Soviet Union. Secretary Stimson expressed the belief that our relations depended largely upon obtaining a specific quid pro qvo from the Soviet Union and suggested that it should be thought through what the United States wanted in return for any concessions it would give to the Soviet union.