The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Secretary of State
London, March 22, 1945—9 p.m.
[Received 11:59 p.m.]
[Received 11:59 p.m.]
2978. For Secretary of Treasury68 from Mann.69 Reference to your 1936, March 13.70
- Sir David Waley71 states that in general the United Kingdom because of United Kingdom external financial position will not be in a position to extend credits to European countries. The United Kingdom Treasury appreciates fully the need of the liberated countries [Page 31] of Europe for credits to obtain the imports necessary for restocking and reconstruction but feels that these countries “should look to creditor nations like the United States and Canada for necessary loans and not to debtor nations like the United Kingdom”.
- According to Waley it will be necessary in the financing of British exports to provide arrangements for short term commercial credits but the emphasis will be on selling British exports for cash whenever possible. He did not elaborate on what such arrangements would be but emphasized that while flexible enough to cover all types of goods the credits would be basically short term in nature.
- Waley states that a credit of about 5,000,000 pounds will probably be given to Czechoslovakia because of a pre-war commitment on the part of the United Kingdom when Czechoslovakia made its gold available to the United Kingdom.
- Reference to Embassy’s 1749, February 20 to the Department.72 British have still not received a reply to British proposal of short term credits in the neighborhood of 30,000,000 pounds. Waley mentioned that the proposal was made largely as a political gesture and suggested that it may prove necessary for political reasons to make exceptions in the case of other nations to the United Kingdom Treasury policy of not extending credits.
- According to Waley the Turkish Government approached the British with a view to obtaining credits and was immediately advised by the British that they were not in a position to extend credits. None of the other European countries have approached the British for credits.
- With regard to France you are referred to the Anglo-French financial agreement73 which Waley states was made available to you in Washington on March 21, 1945. [Mann.]