Franklin D. Roosevelt to Winston Churchill (December 10, 1941) Draft B
December 10, 1941.
FOR FORMER NAVAL PERSON FROM THE PRESIDENT
In August it was easy to agree on obvious main items -- Russian aid, Near East aid and new form Atlantic convoy -- but I question whether situation in Pacific area is yet clear enough to make determination of that decisive character. Delay of even a couple of weeks might be advantageous.
I would like to suggest delay in decision reference to conference until early stages of mobilization complete here and situation in Pacific more clarified. We will be in close touch with you during the next few days relative to joint operations. Your and our defensive position in the Pacific requires our naval staff to do everything to tighten that up. Believe developing war will give both you and me a much clearer picture as to whether and when a conference should be held in the near future.
The production and allocation problems are being worked out with complete understanding and accord. Because of the naval situation, Hawaii and West Coast, we shall have to use allotted planes for about three weeks but expect to resume regular schedule of shipments to you and Russia by January first. Practically all other Lend Lease articles are continuing to be shipped.
I think our joint Atlantic position is good. Please let me have your guess as to use of French Fleet against us.
I suggest we defer decision on your visit for about one week. Situation ought to be much clearer then.
F. D. R.