The Vice Chairman of the War Production Board ( Batt ) to the Director of the Office of Wartime Economic Affairs ( Taft )

Dear Charlie: I talked over your letter of January 12, which had to do with British cash purchases, with our people. Their reaction is that the letter wasn’t quite what they had hoped for, in the light of the kind of instruction which needed to be given to our divisions. They point out that while of course we are not directly concerned [Page 15] with the White Paper, we have a very real indirect concern. As long as White Paper limitations prevent re-export from UK, the type of screening job which we are called upon to do is much simpler than it would be if we also had to take into account the problem of re-exports. They think, therefore, that it would be helpful to our people in WPB to be informed that the provisions of the September 10 White Paper continue to apply, whether procurement is for cash or lend-lease, at least until V–E Day.35 Probably most of our people here are under the firm impression that White Paper limitations do not apply to materials procured for cash, and that the reason for shifting to cash is to permit re-exports.

What would you think of a paragraph like the attached inserted between the second and third paragraphs of your letter, as an attempt to make this situation clearer to our operating people?36

Sincerely yours,


It should be noted, however, that the original British White Paper of September 10, 1941, provided that the limitations upon exports set forth in that document apply to any materials of a type the use of which is being restricted in the United States on the grounds of the short supply and of which the British obtain supplies from the United States either by cash payment or on Lend-Lease, except for the cases cited in the White Paper, and except for materials for which waivers may be specifically made. No change in these provisions have been made in the above-mentioned understandings.

  1. Reference is to the date of victory in Europe, the surrender of Germany.
  2. Handwritten note on the original reads: “Handled by phone with Batt Told him OK”.