740.00112A EW/6–2246

The Acting Secretary of State to President Truman

My Dear Mr. President: The President’s Proclamation Number 2497 of July 17, 194114 vested in the Secretary of State, acting in conjunction with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Attorney General and the Secretary of Commerce, the authority to promulgate the “Proclaimed List of Certain Blocked Nationals”.

As you know, the Proclaimed List, which was operated in close cooperation with the British, who maintained a similar list called the “Statutory List”, provided an important and effective weapon in the economic warfare program of the Allied nations. However, with the conclusion of hostilities, considerable discussion has been held with [Page 84] the British, both prior to and since V–E Day, with respect to the withdrawal of this List. Pursuant to these conversations, it had been agreed that the List would be withdrawn one year after V–E Day. It was subsequently agreed to postpone this date until June 30, 1946 in view of the fact that it was believed desirable before withdrawing the American and British Lists to allow time for the inauguration of our discussions with the neutral countries with regard to German external assets located in such countries. As you know, an Accord with the Swiss Government on this subject has been reached and negotiations are being held with the Swedish Government. Therefore, it is believed that the agreement to withdraw the List on June 30, 1946, simultaneous with similar action by the British Government with respect to its List, is desirable.

As you will fully realize, the withdrawal of the List represents an important step forward in the elimination of wartime controls over trade, and is in full harmony with the United States policy of obtaining free international trade. I am therefore enclosing a copy of a proposed Administrative Order15 to be issued, pursuant to your direction, by the Secretary of State in conjunction with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Commerce and the Attorney General which, effective June 30, 1946, withdraws the existing Proclaimed List of Certain Blocked Nationals. Similar action will be taken by the British Government, and an appropriate press release will be issued on that date. This decision to withdraw the List is subject to modification if circumstances intervening between now and June 30 make it necessary to continue the List for a short time for any particular area.

If you approve of this action, I should appreciate it if you would advise me accordingly.16

Faithfully yours,

Dean Acheson

[On July 9, 1946, the Department of State with the concurrence of the Departments of the Treasury, Justice, and Commerce announced the withdrawal of the Proclaimed List of Certain Blocked Nationals. This measure was decided upon after extensive consultation with the British and Canadian Governments, which were taking similar action with respect to the British Statutory List and the Canadian List of Specified Persons. For text of the announcement, together with a memorandum describing the history and scope of the Proclaimed List, see Department of State Bulletin, July 21, 1946, [Page 85] pages 112 ff. For additional information, see George N. Monsma, “Former Proclaimed List Nationals and American Foreign Trade,” ibid., May 26, 1946, pages 875 ff.]

  1. Department of State Bulletin, July 19, 1941, p. 42.
  2. 11 Federal Register 7567.
  3. Below the signature of the Acting Secretary of State appears the notation: “Approved 6/22/46 Harry S Truman.”