The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé of the Soviet Union (Novikov)
Sir: I acknowledge the receipt of the Embassy’s note of January 4, 1945 relative to the Fourth Protocol, in which it is stated that the Soviet Government accepts the proposals of the United States Government as set forth in its note of November 28, 19447 relative to the offerings and selections for a Fourth Protocol under the Master Lend-Lease Agreement of June 11, 1942.
Due consideration has been given to the specific additional requests made in the note under acknowledgment and there are given below the United States Government’s replies thereto.
Your Government may rest assured that every effort will be made to meet your changing war needs in the implementation of the Fourth Protocol. In this connection I take pleasure in informing you that the coal mining program which has been submitted by your Government has been approved for procurement of such items as can be produced in a reasonable time within the provisions of the proposed Fourth Protocol. While it is impossible to determine the quantities of aviation petroleum products and alcohol that may be made available and shipped in future months, every effort will be made to meet your needs for these products. Non-ferrous and ferrous metals will receive especial consideration in accord with your Government’s request but no commitment beyond that in this Protocol can be made at this time.
In regard to your Government’s suggestion that, without awaiting final agreement and signature of the proposed supplementary agreement to the Master Lend-Lease Agreement, instructions be issued for the immediate acceptance of Soviet orders for the industrial equipment referred to in the above-mentioned supplementary agreement, I have to inform you that my Government cannot accept this proposal. In this connection, I must point out that it was explained to Mr. Stepanov at the conclusion of the negotiations for the proposed supplementary agreement that the draft agreement constituted the final United States offer. Moreover, it was again pointed out in this Government’s note of November 28, 1944 that these items could not be put in production until the agreement has been signed unless your Government wishes to proceed without the financial assistance of the Lend-Lease Act. The machinery of the Lend-Lease Act is the only legal basis at present available under United States law by which such items could be offered and put into production on a credit basis.[Page 972]
The proposals of your Government for a long-term credit to cover Soviet postwar requirements which were recently submitted to Ambassador Harriman are receiving careful consideration. A response to these proposals will be made as soon as possible.
Concerning the question of shipping, I have to inform you that while an effort will be made to ship the maximum tonnage possible, my Government feels that in view of the severe shipping shortage, it cannot expand the present offer to ship 5,700,000 short tons plus such of the tonnage as may be made available in connection with the list submitted on October 17, 1944.8
For your convenience and information there is attached a copy of the final draft9 of the preamble and United States schedule reused in accordance with the principles set forth in our exchange of notes and as it will appear in the proposed Fourth Protocol. Now that agreement has been reached between our two Governments, it is anticipated that the formal signature of the Fourth Protocol will take place shortly in Ottawa.