Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State

Participants: Mr. Hume Wrong, Ambassador of Canada
Mr. Dean Acheson, Secretary of State
Mr. George W. Perkins, Assistant Secretary of State

Ambassador Wrong stated that he wanted to discuss the possibility of changes in legislation of the United States in connection with the Canadian armament program. There were three objectives in which Canada was interested: (1) the simplification of the procedure now in force under which Canada can procure military equipment in the United States; (2) the possibility of additional US purchases of military equipment in Canada; and (3) through these means, the standardization of equipment between the United States and Canada.

He stressed the importance of proceeding immediately so that new items of equipment could be procured from common sources instead of perpetuating the differences which now exist in the equipment. He also stated that it would be very difficult for Canada to do this as fully as was desirable unless there was some purchasing by the United States in Canada so that they could thereby obtain dollars to make their necessary purchases in the United States. He stated that the Buy American Act was the principal difficulty, and that he felt the ideal solution would be an amendment to this Act.

I stated that I doubted if this were feasible, and that probably a separate act applying to Canada would be a more reasonable approach.

The Canadian Ambassador stated that Secretary Johnson2 had stated that he would be prepared to agree to recommend legislative changes to accomplish these purposes.

  1. Louis A. Johnson, Secretary of Defense.