The Minister in Finland (Hamilton) to the Secretary of State
[Received 9:29 p.m.]
713. This is continuation my 709, September 27. I commented that Finnish original estimate of 135,000,000 exports had risen now to 200,000,000 and asked whether this did not indicate less need for credit. President replied their imports had increased and indicated additional credits needed to obtain more imports to bring production above present 65 percent.
President said existing American credits and any further credits were not for use to pay reparations. They were for reconstruction Finland’s economic apparatus so Finland could again be self supporting.
President emphasized Finland wanted to borrow only what it greatly needed and would repay whatever it got. Finnish people had not lost their strength.
Finland had not asked for credits from Soviet Union, as had Poland and, perhaps, other countries. It had made some commodity [Page 247] exchange arrangements. (Next sentence should be regarded as Secret.) It was not Finland’s policy to ask for assistance from Soviet Union.
As to International Bank, President said Finland would wish in due course to become member. Finland would probably have to have peace treaty first and would also have to subscribe capital and conform with other regulations. This would take time, and it would probably be 1948 before it could be done.
I mentioned that desire of American Government to see reestablishment of trade facilitated and interest of American people in Finland had been evidenced during especially critical postwar period by substantial credits and relief which I enumerated. All these forms of assistance could not continue indefinitely. Some were emergency. It was desirable to get back to normal arrangements. I had no information other than that which I received in August already communicated to Finnish Government regarding my Government’s attitude toward any further credit to Finland. I would, of course, report what President had said and communicate to him my Government’s reaction.
Paasikivi with marked earnestness again asked that careful consideration be given to Finland need for credits in 1947. Discussions regarding it would take time, and he would like to have them started in near future and have Graesbeck go USA for that purpose. Exactly how credits would be arranged was technical question. Credits needed for Finland were small compared with some countries. Finland would repay and wanted additional credit to make itself free.
He said no publicity would be given my call.
President had pile of statistical papers before him but talked only in general terms. Am sure Finnish Government would gladly supply any data our government might desire.
I should appreciate receiving reaction Department and Exim Bank and indication what reply Department desires I make to President Paasikivi. Any background factors including reaction of Exim Bank to data already presented by Finns would be helpful.