842.20 Defense/1–248

Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of British Commonwealth Affairs ( Foster ) to the Director of the Office of European Affairs ( Hickerson )


Subject: Attacks on the Hyde Park Agreement

There has recently been an increasing disposition in various quarters of the Government to advocate the abrogation of the Hyde Park Agreement2 on the ground that it stands in the way of the U.S. preventing the export to Canada of commodities in short supply in this country. I attach a clipping from today’s Washington Post which is not only indicative of this trend but somewhat alarming as well. Ty Wood3 will testify before the Senate Small Business Committee next week, possibly on Monday, and will try to defend the Agreement. Meanwhile, at a meeting recently in the Commerce Department, where fuel oil was under discussion, a Commerce official declared that as far as his Department was concerned the Agreement was “out the window”.

BC continues to give all possible support to the Agreement. We are taking the line that it will not prevent the U.S. putting on export controls against goods going to Canada, if such controls are necessary and if we consult in advance with the Canadians. Beyond this we are arguing that the Agreement and the Ogdensburg Declaration are the two big symbols of our extraordinarily close relationship, et cetera, and it would seriously damage cooperation if we abrogated Hyde Park. We have urged that Hyde Park represents a spirit which should be [Page 406] preserved and that it is the foundation for consultation in those many economic problems of mutual concern to the two countries.

Do you approve our strong and continued efforts to prevent the abrogation of the Hyde Park Agreement?4

Andrew B. Foster
  1. An arrangement between the United States and Canada that grew out of the Hyde Park declaration by President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Mackenzie King on April 20, 1941. For text, see Department of State Bulletin, April 26, 1941, p. 494. The arrangement was continued into the reconversion period following the war by an exchange of notes signed at Ottawa May 7 and May 15, 1945, printed in Department of State Treaties and Other International Acts Series No. 1752.
  2. Clinton Tyler Wood, Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs.
  3. Hickerson’s answer, handwritten in the margin, was “Yes, JDH.”