Memorandum by Mr. George E. Truesdell of the Division of Eastern European Affairs to the Deputy Director of the Office of European Affairs (Thompson)


In my opinion it would be impossible to take any action under the Soviet Master Lend-Lease Agreement to recapture legally lend-lease vessels now in Soviet possession without first notifying the Soviet Government that the emergency referred to in the Master Lend-Lease Agreements has been terminated by the President. In similar fashion it would be impossible to put the Soviet Government on the defensive with respect to patent matters without stating more specifically than heretofore our position with respect to Article IV of the Master Agreement. The attached draft notes have been prepared with this in mind.1

After despatch of these notes, it would then be possible to follow [Page 1012] up our note of September 3 setting some sort of deadline for a satisfactory reply. If such a reply were not forthcoming, the stage would then be set for demanding the return of the merchant vessels, the small number of military vessels and the remainder of the naval craft, again setting deadlines as to satisfactory replies. If such replies were not forthcoming, we could then take the appropriate steps to obtain the return of the vessels by legal seizure in foreign ports or by outright seizure upon the high seas if this should prove possible or practicable.

In any event, forwarding of the attached notes could do nothing more than confirm our positions re: Articles IV and V of the Master Agreement and, in the interim, legal opinions may be obtained from L as to our rights in foreign ports and on the high seas.

George E. Truesdell
  1. Not attached to file copy. See the notes of October 7 and October 12, 1948, p. 1012 and p. 1016.