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61 McDougall to Bruce

Letter WASHINGTON, 16 October 1942

Yesterday I got your telegram [1] again telling me to postpone my
departure if this is necessary owing to the delay in Orr's [2]
arrival. There is no news about Orr save the telegram I had from
Alfred Stirling saying that the U.S. Embassy London anticipated
that he would arrive on Sunday or Monday. [3]

This suggests that I may be able to take the first clipper leaving
after the 25th or 26th. Orr's delayed arrival is a great nuisance.

However we are getting everything ready for a series of meetings.

[4] The draft of our statement [5] has had one joint revision. I
gave Roland Wilson a copy to convey to you. We are also getting
the necessary appendices completed. I am postponing any further
meetings until Orr's arrival. I have guessed that Orr will bring a
certain point of view which may include the results of talks with
you and possibly with some U.K. authorities.

I hope we can have our meeting on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
and get the Statement completed by Saturday.

I should like to see Mr Wallace with it before leaving.

On Tuesday (Oct 13th) I had a most satisfactory hour with Mr
Welles. He started by saying that he had been unhappily conscious
of a gap in the State Department's preparations on reconstruction
because the Department of Agriculture had not found time to do a
real job on Food and Agriculture. He had now been told that this
gap was being well filled by our joint group's work and that
pleased him very much. We then talked about other aspects. He said
that the State Department had made more progress on the political
and constitutional side than the economic but that he anticipated
that by the middle of December the committees on all aspects of
reconstruction would have reported and that it would then be
possible to go to the President and propose methods of
consultation with other nations.

I stressed the need for rapid action and suggested that we might
not have more than 18 months in which to formulate joint schemes,
obtain the approval of Governments, and sell the ideas to the
peoples of U.S.A., the U.K., the Dominions, and put them across
the air to Europe. Welles said he agreed. He had read and had much
liked my 'Progress in the War of Ideas' memo [6] and shared the
view that political warfare might play an important part provided
it was supplied with proper munitions.

He said however that the U.S. Govt must know its own mind before
engaging in discussions with other nations including the U.K. I
suggested that there would be advantages in informal discussions
before the i's were dotted or the t's crossed in U.S. schemes. It
was harder to modify completed proposals than those which were in
a less advanced stage. I think Welles tended to agree.

I said that there was some conflict of view in Washington about
the functions of the Relief Administration. Some thought it should
be a short term body, others that it should grow to become the
principal United Nations body for reconstruction. I said that one
factor influenced my mind, namely that while the Director-General
of Relief would need the qualities of a high power business
executive, the principal man on reconstruction would need the
qualities of a statesman. Welles indicated that his own mind
tended towards confining the Relief Administration to Relief and
that such longer term functions as it had to engage in should at
the close of the relief period be handed over to more permanent
bodies. Acheson and I expect Leith Ross take the other view.

Incidentally Acheson mentioned Paul Appleby as a possible
Director-General of Relief The end of my talk with Mr Welles was
most cordial. He said he hoped we should get to a United Nations
basis early in 1943 and hoped I should be back in Washington then.

I suggested that he should send you his Boston speech, he said he
would. [7] It contains some very good passages.

Today I saw Hansen [8] and we talked about a method of progress
for a United Nations ... [9] The idea is illustrated in a sketch I
have made and enclose. [10]

The Technical Commissions would be appointed by the Policy
Committee on the recommendation of the Chairman. The Chairman and
his Secretariat would be responsible for coordinating the work of
the Technical Commissions and for keeping touch with all United
Nations Governments.

We have had four days of continuous heavy rain and the Potomac is
a raging flood. The newspapers talk of an all-high flood record.

I had a couple of talks with Roland Wilson. He is certainly
intelligent. You will be glad that I brought McCarthy into the
Food and Agriculture talks. He seemed quite keen.

I am a bit disturbed over the American attitude about India, it's
the worst block to Anglo-American understanding at present. [11]

I look forward to discussing some of the points better not written


1 Not found.

2 Professor of Agriculture, University of Aberdeen, and an expert
on health and nutrition.

3 Not found.

4 See Documents 74 and 78.

5 Published as an attachment to Document 78.

6 Published as an attachment to Document 42.

7 Welles dispatched a copy of this speech to Bruce with a covering
note on 14 October (see file AA:M104, 10).

8 Professor of Political Economy, Harvard University, and economic
adviser to the U.S. Govt.

9 Word indecipherable. It may have read 'front'.

10 On the file cited in note 7.

11 See Document 40.

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