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Historical documents

22 McDougall to Bruce

Letter WASHINGTON, 13 August [1942]


I wrote to you on Monday Aug 10th [1] following my first talk with
Sumner Welles. Since then I have been seeing people all day and
each evening.

On Wednesday I had 1 1/2 hours with Mr Wallace. For the first time
I found him very easy to talk with and he showed the keenest
interest in the Food approach and saw at once its significance for
political warfare. He wants to see if it is possible to go right
ahead but considers that this mainly depends upon whether we can
get the State Department to take the right line.

He gave me his views of leading personalities here and said that
the key people at the State Department for these purposes were
Sumner Welles, Berle and Acheson. There is no doubt about where
Wallace stands and I obtained a much better impression of him as a
man and as a statesman than ever before. He is intensely
interested in the commodity problem-war and post-war. He told me
that Jesse Jones had been conspiring to get synthetic rubber
protected after the war and in consequence had written an article
for the New York Magazine on Rubber. I am briefly summarizing his
article in the attached note. [2]

Wallace asked me to see the people in the Office of War
Information about the political warfare aspects of the Food
approach. I have thus far seen MacLeish the second man and two
others. Elmer Davis the chief I may see shortly.

Wallace was also keenly interested in the Security aspects of
buffer stocks or as he prefers to say 'ever-normal granaries'.

I am to dine with Berle one of the Assnt Secretaries of State on
Monday Aug 17th.

Acheson I have not yet seen. Harold Butler is making a good
impression. I've only had a few words but we lunch on the 17th.

Boudreau [3] I saw today. He is extremely keen. He asked to be
warmly remembered to you. There is no doubt that the people here
that I have seen are definitely pleased about my coming over. The
attitude is rather like this. There is much confusion and a good
deal of jockeying for position between Departments. A keen
outsider comes into the picture and may be able to get action by
bringing people together on an extra-departmental basis.

As regards the general atmosphere there is a considerable feeling
that the American people badly need a positive conception of the
purposes for which they are fighting. There is a considerable
volume of criticism of the Executive on various grounds,
sufficient to cause some anxiety about the results of the November
elections. Wallace and many others think the President should come
right out with a fuller and more concrete declaration about our
joint purposes. Others counsel great caution.

Wallace asked Herridge [4] of Canada to talk to me and I am
enclosing a separate note about the line Herridge took.

I don't feel that I am yet in a position to sum up my present

Have you considered writing to Mr Curtin regarding our general
line and the American interest in the subject.

I am also anxious to be advised by you as to whether I am to write
to External Affairs at Canberra about the American reactions to
our lines of country.


1 This letter (which was in fact dated 11 August) is on file
AA:M104, 10.

2 Attachments referred to in this letter are on the file cited in
note 1.

3 Dr Frank G. Boudreau was Executive Director of the Milbank
Memorial Fund and had had a distinguished career in the fields of
public health and nutrition, including service with the League of
Nations and U.S. Govt agencies.

4 A barrister who had been Canadian Minister to the United States
from 1931 to 1935.

[AA:M104, 10]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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