The British Prime Minister ( Churchill ) to President Roosevelt 43

My Dear Franklin: 1. I have to thank you for your letter of February 1044 about Article VII of the Lease-Lend Agreement. I cabled this home to the Cabinet and have now had a full reply from them. It appears that during the past six weeks there has been a regular series of discussions in London between a group of high British officials and three American officials led by Hawkins, who was head of the division in the State Department which deals with Commercial Policy and is now attached to the American Embassy. You may remember that discussions took place in this form at the suggestion of the State Department and were designed to ascertain informally, without of course committing either Government, where both countries now stood as a result of consideration since the talks in Washington rather more than a year ago.45 Although Commercial Policy was the main subject, the talks covered the whole range of Article VII and seemed to our people to have let light into many obscure corners.

2. Mr. Hawkins went back a week ago to Washington to report and is due to return to London at the beginning of next month to tell us the Washington reaction to the talks. We shall then be able to consider with all practicable speed whether such differences as may be found to remain between the United States and the United Kingdom can be bridged and if so, what should be lines of procedure for consideration of policy by other United Nations.

3. The War Cabinet do not wish to commit themselves at this stage of the war to sending a high-powered delegation to Washington. This must involve bringing other countries into the discussions, notably France, at an early stage and of course the present mood of the Dominions must be ascertained before we go further on general policy.

4. In view of the above, would it not be better to wait till we have both returned home and have been able to review the progress made in the informal discussions? I shall be very glad to talk this over with you when we meet.

Yours sincerely,

Winston S. Churchill
  1. Copy obtained from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, N.Y.
  2. Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Malta and Yalta, 1945, p. 962.
  3. See Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. i, pp. 1099 ff.