Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. T. R. Martin of the Division of River Plate Affairs

Subject: Withdrawal of Proclaimed List

Participants: Messrs. Frost and McCombe–British Embassy
Mr. Rubin–ESP5
Mr. Surrey–ES 6
Mr. Baker–ES
Mr. Monsma–ES
Mr. Birch–ES
Mr. Gilmore–RPA
Mr. Martin–RPA

The meeting concerning the subject was called at the request of the British in order that they might present their views. These views are: (1) the British desire that the Proclaimed List be withdrawn for all countries simultaneously on May 8; (2) the British are prepared to retain the Proclaimed List for the Eastern Hemisphere but not for the Western Hemisphere until June 30, in view of negotiations presently underway with the European neutrals concerning the vesting of enemy assets; (3) the British are opposed to any further distinction in the withdrawal of the Proclaimed List among the American republics.

In general the British believe that the Proclaimed List as a trading list has served its purpose, and that further continuance of the List anywhere in the world for a trading purpose would be ineffective and for any other purpose inappropriate. The List is regarded as presently impotent and laboring under the enervating burden of rumors with respect to its withdrawal. In the event, however, that the United States Government feels strongly that the List should be continued in the Eastern Hemisphere to support current negotiations with the European neutrals, London will agree to an extension of the terminal date of the List for the Eastern Hemisphere to June 30. June 30 is the terminal date for certain related British controls. The extension, however, would be acceptable only on the understanding that the List for the Eastern Hemisphere would be very definitely withdrawn on June 30. Only impelling circumstances such as the prospect of the immediate signature of an agreement could be regarded as sufficient reason for the continuance of the List for the European neutrals beyond June 30. Only further extension beyond June 30 would have to be of an extremely short duration and the special circumstances most impelling. Both Messrs. McCombe and Frost emphasized that British freezing controls would be continued to support further the European negotiations.

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The British appeared to feel quite strongly that the continuance of the Proclaimed List beyond May 8 for any or all of the American republics would serve no purpose. It was contended that the republics whose controls are based on the Proclaimed List should immediately make such amendments as were necessary to free them of this dependence. Postponement of withdrawal would merely postpone the enactment of the amendments. With respect to replacement the British suggested that other sanctions or agreements such as Pan American resolutions and the ACC Vesting Decree be used rather than the Proclaimed List to exert pressure upon the republics for the completion of their replacement programs. Concerning a possible retention of the List for Argentina alone, the British observed that other countries were quite as negligent as Argentina in the initiation and completion of a replacement program and that the Proclaimed List was no longer an imposing factor in the considerations motivating Argentina or any of the other remiss countries. Argentina would or would not complete her replacement program on the basis of considerations quite apart from the Proclaimed List.

Mr. Rubin stated that it was the position of his Office that the List should be withdrawn on May 8 for all of the republics of the Western Hemisphere except Argentina, and for Europe on June 30. Whether or not Argentina should be an exception would depend upon the decision of Mr. Braden.

It was concluded that the following steps remained to be taken: (1) the missions in the other American republics should be consulted concerning the date of May 8; (2) the date of June 30 should be considered for the European countries; and (3) Mr. Braden should be consulted concerning the possible exception of Argentina from the May 8 program proposed for the Western Hemisphere. With respect to the last point Mr. Rubin requested that Mr. Frost submit a memorandum outlining the British views, and stated that he would then incorporate this information in a memorandum covering the conclusions of the conference. Mr. Rubin would forward this memorandum to Mr. Braden for his decision concerning Argentina.

  1. Office of Economic Security Policy.
  2. Division of Economic Security Controls.