The Secretary of Commerce (Sawyer) to the Secretary of State

Dear General: In a conversation with Mr. Thorp yesterday mention was made of a statement presented by you to the Cabinet Meeting oii Friday, March 26, referring to “Control of Exports to the Soviet Bloc.”1 He also mentioned a supplementary report on trade relations with Eastern Europe from the Ad Hoc Committee of the Department of Commerce known as “Ad Hoc Document 31,” dated May 4, 1948.2 This document states in greater detail the way in which the policy outlined in your statement will be carried out.

I have instructed the appropriate members of my staff to report to me the way in which export licenses are actually being issued.

In this connection I am told that items classified as Classed, Class 1–A and Class 2, which for the present we are not shipping to Eastern Europe, are being shipped by Western European countries to Eastern European countries by reason of their trade agreements.

It would be helpful to this Department in handling the control of export licenses to know to what extent our objectives are being thwarted by trade over which we have no direct control. Do you have information bearing on this matter? Furthermore, it would seem to me that we could exercise through cooperation with ECA considerable [Page 545] influence upon those who might otherwise take action contrary to our interests in this regard. What is your thinking?3

Yours sincerely,

Charles Sawyer
  1. Ante, p. 527.
  2. Ante, p. 536.
  3. A note attached to the source text bears the following handwritten notation, presumably by Edwin M. Martin, Deputy Director, Office of International Trade Policy, dated June 29:

    “This matter has been handled in the course of several personal conversations and a letter sent to Secy for signature this week.”

    The substance of the draft letter referred to by Martin was subsequently included in the enclosure to the Secretary of State’s letter of July 9 to Secretary Sawyer, p. 550.