800.24/10–645: Circular telegram

The Secretary of State to the Diplomatic Representatives in the American Republics Except Argentina and Panama

Dept’s. Restricted CirTel, Sept. 12, 3 p.m.54 The following note concerning the end of Lend-Lease has been sent to the Embassies in Washington of the other American republics except Argentina and Panama:

“I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that the successful conclusion of the war against Germany and Japan has made it necessary for my Government to re-examine its policy concerning Lend-Lease. Your Excellency will recall that the Lend-Lease Act was passed “to promote the defense of the United States”, and a Lend-Lease Agreement with Your Excellency’s Government was negotiated in order to frustrate the threatened Axis aggression against the Western Hemisphere. In accordance with the terms of this Lend-Lease Agreement military material was transferred by the United States at such time and in such quantities as was deemed necessary to protect the Hemisphere against external aggression.

With the end of the war the purposes envisaged by the Lend-Lease Act have been fulfilled. Therefore the United States Government has decided that, under the terms of the Lend-Lease Act and of the Lend-Lease Agreement, in the future the transfer of material will be limited to that which is to be utilized for assistance to Allied forces engaged against Japanese forces which have not surrendered. However, requests for material other than arms and ammunition may be approved in certain unavoidable cases where abrupt cessation of aid will cause undue hardship. Finally maintenance, repair, training, transportation and other services already undertaken may be continued to the nearest practicable stopping point.

Representatives of the United States Government have been holding preliminary, exploratory bilateral military staff conversations with representatives of Your Excellency’s Government for the purpose of laying the foundation for military collaboration in future years. My Government is now engaged in studying the resulting reports and hopes to reach decisions shortly on the recommendations contained therein. While it obviously will take some time to formulate in detail policies of my Government which will insure to the fullest degree the continuance of the excellent military cooperation which has existed between the Government of the United States and Your Excellency’s Government, you are assured that it is the intention of my Government to continue this cooperation, as envisaged by the staff conversations. While the Lend-Lease Act and the Lend-Lease Agreement can no longer be used to facilitate this cooperation, my Government is now [Page 257] formulating terms and arrangements which I am confident can be worked out to the mutual satisfaction of both our Governments.

Accept, Excellency, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration.”

  1. Not printed; it quoted all but paragraph “E” (not applicable) of Joint Chiefs of Staff memorandum “Military Lend-Lease Policy after Unconditional Surrender or Defeat of Japan,” approved by the President September 5, 1945, scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. vii .