155 Bruce to Curtin

Cablegram 74[A] LONDON, 7 April 1943, 9.30 p.m.


International Clearing Union and Stabilization Fund.

I send you the following thoughts for what they are worth. These two plans show great imagination and thought, and the expert consideration that has gone to their construction should afford a basis for the creation of an International financial mechanism which will contribute to stability and make possible the expansion of world trade which must be brought about if the ideas of economic well being and social security visualized for the post war world are to be achieved.

These two plans, however, are [only] [1] suggestions as to the form which such mechanism should take. There is, in my view, a grave danger that now the two plans have been made public a controversy may develop round the methods which they respectively contemplate with hardening schools of [thought] and opposing groups in the course of which the objectives they are both designed to achieve may be lost sight of.

The position as I see it is that the immediate problem is not to provoke a technical and expert discussion upon ways and means but to ensure political direction which will bring into the forefront of people's minds the objectives which it is desired to achieve.

On ways and means there will be a great division of opinion-most of it ill informed. On objectives it should be possible to get agreement. These objectives are well set out in introductions respectively to the International Clearing Union and the Stabilization Funds plans. [2] In my mind, political direction should be given down the lines of obtaining agreement from the United Nations either by a meeting or by negotiation and having obtained that endorsement of objectives a further agreement that the problem of designing machinery should be referred to an expert committee to which both the Clearing Union and Stabilization Fund plans should be referred merely as suggested methods and that pending a report by such expert committee, every effort should be made to damp down public controversy.


1 Words in square brackets have been corrected/inserted from Bruce's copy on file AA:M100, April 1943.

2 See Document 98, notes 1, 2 and 3.

[AA:A989, 43/735/56/3]