America at war! (1941–) – Part 3

The Director of Economic Operations in the Middle East to the President’s special assistant

Cairo, November 26, 1943

Dear Harry: Herewith is a memorandum that Averill asked me to prepare for you this morning.

I am grateful to you for your kindnesses to me this morning and for the opportunity that it gave me to put a few of the significant issues that we face in this area.

You know that at any time I am at yours and the Boss’s beck and call for anything.

Sincerely yours,


Memorandum by the Director of Economic Operations in the Middle East

Memorandum on consumer goods in Iran

Of course, it is impossible to obtain absolutely accurate figures in view of the lack of statistical information in Iran, but these figures I think represent the situation fairly accurately on consumer goods.

As of January 1, 1943, the total quantity of all consumer goods, not including cereals and other, bulk foodstuffs, in all Persian warehouses at the beginning of the year was 80,000 tons. Recent information indicates that between 15,000 to 18,000 tons are still at Persian Gulf ports alone. In an attached memorandum, I am breaking down the 80,000 tons of the various different categories. I can give you an even more detailed breakdown but I do not believe that this is necessary for your purposes.

The difficulty in Iran lies in the existence of an adequate distribution system and not in the absence of consumer goods. If you have time, go down to the central bazaars in Tehran and not only look at the goods that are available there in the shops but go in behind to the warehouses that are in the rear of these shops and see the masses of goods that are piled up there. Of course, the prices are quite beyond reach. Some economic theorists believe that it might be advisable to throw consumer goods into Iran in order to break these black-market prices. But the answer to that is that we have neither the tonnage nor the goods to create surpluses of such a size that black market prices would be permanently broken.

I might add a little about the truck situation. I think it is true that there are perhaps less trucks in Iran than there were in 1938, but not very many less. We are just compiling figures on this now. But the trucks that are in Iran are neither kept at jobs that are essential nor are they kept in repair. Of some 400 Lend-Lease trucks in Tehran I saw 83 of them in one yard alone that were laid up because of lack of repair facilities. Here again the trouble is not spare parts but the want of efficient management.

Attached herewith are data for specific items of consumer goods – the important ones being sugar, tea, drugs and cotton piece goods.

The following data is given for specific items:

(a) Sugar (October 30)

UKCC Stocks 6500 tons
Government Stocks 24000 tons
Total 30500

MESC has now programmed for Iran during 1944, 5000 tons per month.

(b) Tea (October 30)
Government Stocks 800 tons.

An additional 2,000 tons are to be imported during November and December, with a total 1944 program of 6,800 tons. This latter figure represents 90% of pre-war consumption.

(c) Coffee: Stocks unknown, but believed to be extremely small. The 1944 program is set for a total of 300 tons.

(d) Cocoa: None heretofore furnished by MESC. 1944 program includes 100 tons which is now available in Palestine for shipment at any time.

(e) Whiskey and gin: Stocks negligible since there was no quota for 1942-43. Present recommendations are for 1944 quota of 6,600 cases subject to approval by London and Washington.

(f) Drugs and pharmaceuticals: Lend-Lease Representative MacDonald estimates sufficient supply for one year, not including items now under procurement. In addition to stocks held by the Government, 85 tons of drugs and instruments have been held in ports for over a year.

(g) Cigarettes and tobacco: There are no imports of cigarettes since Iran is self-sufficient. At present they have on hand a nine months’ stock of unmanufactured cigarette tobacco, and a seven months’ stock of unmanufactured pipe tobacco.

(h) Cotton piecegoods: Estimated stocks on hand September 7: 21,263 bales exclusive of very considerable stocks held by private merchants, and the products of Iranian Government textile factories (which have held back from the distribution authorities more than 4,500 bales during the past eight months).

Estimated stocks of cotton piecegoods as at January 1, 1943 is 5,000 tons, of which 80% is probably Government.

(i) Woolen piecegoods: Iran is self-sufficient generally, but a quota of 80 tons has been assigned for 1944 in order to provide cheap clothing for low-paid Government servants. This, however, is subject to non-interference with minimum demands of other territories.

(j) Toothbrushes: Stocks believed to be extremely low.

(k) Bicycles: 500 were recently imported but are believed to have been sold to users, making a total of 22,616 in operation with no unsold stocks.

(l) Glassware and crockery: Reports indicate that “two warehouses are full” of glassware. Iran is self-sufficient in crockery and in fact has offered to export to other countries at high prices.

The Director of War Mobilization to the President

Washington, November 26, 1943

Cablegram for the President:

Increased landing craft program submitted Wednesday possible only if we immediately issue directive giving priority over all programs any kind. Please wire whether I shall have Nelson issue directive.


Roosevelt-Churchill-Chiang meeting, 4:30 p.m.

United States United Kingdom China
President Roosevelt Prime Minister Churchill Generalissimo Chiang
Ambassador Harriman Foreign Secretary Eden Madame Chiang
Sir Alexander Cadogan

President Roosevelt to Marshal Stalin

Cairo, 26 November 1943

Op priority

Thank you much for your message of November 23 informing me of your intention to reach Teheran on the 28th or 29th. I expect to reach there on the 27th. It will be good to see you.


The President to the Secretary of State

Cairo, 26 November 1943

In reply to your message transmitted as White 38, I am convinced that this is not the time to make any final decisions or plans relating to Civil Affairs for France. The whole situation in North Africa is complicated but the general attitude of the Committee and especially de Gaulle is shown in the Lebanon affair. De Gaulle is now claiming the right to speak for all of France and is talking openly about how he intends to set up his government in France as soon as the Allies get in there.

I am increasingly inclined to the thought that the occupation when it takes place should be a wholly military occupation.

I see no need for any further discussion at this time, though I may discuss it informally when I see the Russians.

I saw Vishinsky four days ago and I don’t believe the Russians will press for any immediate action. I am showing this to Churchill and I hope we can hold up the whole matter until we can see the picture more clearly.

The President’s personal representative to the President

Tehran, November 26, 1943

This morning I informed Russian Chargé d’Affaires that you would reside at your own Legation. I told him that this decision in my opinion was final and was made before any invitation had been received by you from Russia. All this was satisfactory at that time. At three o’clock this afternoon, the Russian Chargé d’Affaires called on me to say that the Russian Government cordially invites you to be its guest at its Embassy while here. I told him I would convey to you this generous invitation but inasmuch as you had already decided to reside at your own Legation and all preparations had been made accordingly, I thought that perhaps it would be too late to make another change, although I knew that you and Stalin would spend a great deal of time together while here. In the meantime, DARKY is inspecting suggested quarters, Russian Embassy, so that if you should decide to accept the invitation, all details regarding quarters will be in hand.

The President’s personal representative to the President

Tehran, November 26, 1943

Since wiring you I accompanied General Connolly and Rowley together with the Russian Charge d’Affaires and other Russian security officers for an inspection of quarters which the Russians propose to give to you as their guest. For Reilly’s information the quarters are in the same building inside the Russian Embassy compound which he inspected and consist of six rooms to the left of the entrance to the building. The suite contains one large reception or assembly room, four smaller rooms that could be used as bedrooms and one large bedroom with adjoining bath. For the other four rooms there is but one bath, making two baths and toilet facilities for the entire suite which is the same number as in the American Legation. In the suite there is also a large dining room and below the main bedroom a kitchen which can be used by your staff for you. The building is steam heated. The suite they are offering you is on the same floor with and adjoins the large conference room. No one else is living in this building but two other rooms are being used as a Russian communications office. There is also a private entrance to the suite. The only work needed to be done on the suite is to reinstall bathtubs and toilets which have been removed but can be replaced quickly. List of necessary furnishings being given Russians by DARKY. From the standpoint of your convenience and comfort, from the standpoint of conference communications and security, these quarters are far more desirable than your own Legation. As I told you in my earlier wire, I have advised the Russians that you have definitely decided to use your own Legation. The Russians still most cordially solicit your acceptance of their invitation.


The President to the Minister in Egypt

Cairo, November 26, 1943

Memorandum for: Ambassador Kirk

Please have Wadsworth, Consul General at Beirut, come down here when I get back here – I think about Thursday or Friday.


President Roosevelt to the Chinese Minister of Finance

Cairo, November 26, 1943

My Dear Dr. Kung. It was good of you to think of me and I am delighted to have that delicious Chinese tea – especially because I am more and more substituting tea for coffee.

Our visit here in Cairo with the Generalissimo and Madame Chiang has been not only very delightful but it has been a true success. It is the beginning of many such conferences, I hope. They have spoken to me in regard to the inflation problem and when they get back to Chungking, they will speak with you in regard to a suggestion which I have made. I have not, of course, had a chance to talk with the Secretary of the Treasury about it but I will do so just as soon as I get home.

I do hope that I shall have the pleasure of seeing you one of these days very soon.

My warm regards, Sincerely yours,

Hopkins-Chiang conversation, evening

United States China
Mr. Hopkins Generalissimo Chiang
Madame Chiang

The Chiangs raised the question of the return of Outer Mongolia.

Madame Chiang to President Roosevelt

Cairo, 26 November 1943

My Dear Mr. President: You will, I hope, forgive me for this uncertain handwriting, for I am still Cyclops, and the letters all run together very unneatly. But the Generalissimo wishes me to tell you again how much he appreciates what you have done and are doing for China. When we said goodbye to you this afternoon, he could not find words adequately expressive to convey his emotions and feelings, nor to thank you sufficiently for your friendship. He felt too the wistfulness of saying farewell, although he feels that only a short while will elapse before his next meeting with you. Meanwhile he hopes that you will consider him as a friend whom you can trust. He on his part finds joy and comfort in the thought that as time goes on, the bonds of affection and similarity of motives between you and him will be strengthened.

Will you please overlook this very inadequate interpretation of his views, for I have had a full day, and my brain simply cannot encompass what he conveyed to me to pass on to you.

On my own behalf, Mr. President, please remember that as I write this, my heart overflows with affection and gratitude for what you have done, and for what you are.


U.S. Navy Department (November 26, 1943)

Communiqué No. 486

Pacific and Far East.
U.S. submarines have reported the sinking of nine enemy vessels in operations against the enemy in waters of these areas, as follows:


  • 1 medium tanker
  • 1 medium plane transport
  • 7 medium freighters

These actions have not been announced in any previous Navy Depart­ment Communiqué.

The Pittsburgh Press (November 26, 1943)

Berlin raided fifth time in eight nights

One of biggest formations of U.S. bombers blasts Germany

In Italy –
British smash Nazi assaults

8th Army consolidates bridgehead on Sangro
By Harrison Salisbury, United Press staff writer

U.S. planes batter Japs in Marshall Islands

Carrier and land-based planes rip enemy bases after conquest of Gilberts
By William F. Tyree, United Press staff writer

Tokyo radio: Allied planes raid Formosa

Japs report attack 1,500 miles from homeland

U.S. subs sink 9 more ships

Jap airplane transport among victims

High school romance cools –
‘Miss America’ of 1935 files suit for divorce

Henrietta Leaver charges husband with indignities

Bonus bill to pay $300 to veterans

Measure also includes $15-a-week job insurance for a year

Cigarettes output may hit 290-billion mark in 1943

Yanks shatter Bougainville counterdrive

U.S. troops gain ground in artillery and infantry battle

Simms: U.S. efforts to avert war are recalled

Officials knew the facts, but isolationists ‘put on the hush-hush’

Good Neighbor outlay scored by Nebraskan

Latin American tension makes war inevitable, Senator Butler charges

First USO show arrives in Italy

Relief agency votes to help banished Jews

Compromise is reached on repatriation of Axis victims