The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Gallman) to the Secretary of State
1230. Foreign Office states British Embassy Brussels discussed tanks (Embtel 971 repeated Brussels 42 March 101) informally with Belgians and was informed no possibility exportation existed until court decision and that “most likely” favorable action would be taken on formal request for cancellation any outstanding export permits. Instructions to make formal request that no exportation be permitted without US–UK approval now being forwarded British Embassy Brussels.
Minister of Supply2 insists informally impossible repossess tanks. Tanks statedly are of diverse origin including British-owned, Canadian-owned, of US manufacture and Lend-Lease and no way identify which is which. Both Foreign Office and Minister Supply appear anxious to meet our requirements and willing use political pressure on Belgians. British Treasury declares no possibility of increased payment since British only received scrap prices.
Full report airmailed.
Sent Dept 1230 repeated Brussels 47.