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

personal and confidential

Dear General: We receive occasional intimations, and some outright suggestions, in connection with export licenses to Russia which have been temporarily held up, that the licensee may be able to arrange for the import of critical materials from Russia. May I ask the attitude of the State Department with reference to dealing with this kind of opportunity? If we can establish a quid pro quo basis we will certainly have better control over the situation than we have today. These transactions would of course be handled by and through private channels, which might be an advantage or a disadvantage, depending upon the considerations involved.

This matter seems to me to be worthy of serious thought and perhaps of a meeting with you and Secretary Forrestal. Inasmuch as one or two of these cases are up for immediate decision, it might be well if we could have your reaction fairly soon.

Yours sincerely,

Charles Sawyer