Official: Prime Minister: copy of a letter from [11th] Lord Lothian [earlier Philip Kerr, British Ambassador to the United States], War Cabinet papers by WSC, and printed telegrams and letters exchanged between WSC and President [Franklin] Roosevelt.

Reference code: CHAR 20/15

Part of: CHAR 20
Next record: CHAR 20/16
Previous record: CHAR 20/14

Date: 1939 - 1940

Scope/content:

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Access: Physical: 1 bound file (13 folios)
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Contained records

Reference Record Date
CHAR 20/15/1-6 Letter from [11th] Lord Lothian [earlier Philip Kerr, British Ambassador to the United States] (British Embassy, Washington) to Edward, Lord Halifax [earlier Edward Wood and Lord Irwin, Foreign Secretary] on United States attitudes to the war: 1) thanks Halifax for constructive criticism of his indiscreet speeches; 2) justifies references to federalism as means of reconciling the United States to participation in world organisation; 3) stresses that control of the seas must be a democratic co-operation between Britain, the United States, France and the Dominions, but that first Britain and the United States must trust each other. [carbon copy]. 11 Mar 1940
CHAR 20/15/7 Printed paper by WSC [First Lord of the Admiralty] for the War Cabinet entitled "Notes on the General Situation", mostly with regard to Russia, Turkey and the war in Eastern Europe. 25 Sep 1939
CHAR 20/15/8 Memorandum by WSC, First Lord of the Admiralty, for the War Cabinet entitled "Possible Detente with Italy in the Mediterranean"; discusses need to build up common interests with Italy, perhaps in the Balkans, and to keep U-boat war out of the Mediterranean. 18 Oct 1939
CHAR 20/15/9 Printed paper by WSC for the War Cabinet entitled "Statement by the First Lord to the French Admiralty"; discusses the uses of "asdics" [anti-submarine detection indicator], the necessity of defeating U-boats to control the seas, and future strategy. 03 Nov 1939
CHAR 20/15/10 Memorandum by WSC, First Lord of the Admiralty, for the War Cabinet entitled "Australian Naval Defence (Winter 1939)"; suggests that Japan will reserve its strength for controlling China and not attempt to attack Singapore or Australia, therefore the Australian army can be dispatched wherever necessary. [expanded to produce CHAR 20/15/11]. 17 Nov 1939
CHAR 20/15/11 Memorandum by WSC, First Lord of the Admiralty, for the War Cabinet entitled "Australian and New Zealand Naval Defence (Winter 1939)". [expands on content of CHAR 20/15/10]. 21 Nov 1939
CHAR 20/15/12 Printed note by WSC, First Lord of the Admiralty, for the War Cabinet entitled "Comparison of British and Japanese Fleets"; discusses capacity of British Fleet which can be spared for the Far East, assuming the French Fleet will command Home Waters, with tables showing projected Capital Ship strengths in 1942, with dates of completion of ships. 12 Mar 1940
CHAR 20/15/13 Printed copies of telegrams and letters exchanged between "the Naval Person (WSC) and President (Franklin) Roosevelt": 11 Sept 1939 Letter from Roosevelt to WSC congratulating him on his return to the Admiralty. 5 Oct 1939 Telephone conversation summary of message from WSC to Roosevelt asking if the Iroquois off the west of Ireland has orders to search ships in those waters. 5 Oct 1940 WSC to Roosevelt agreeing to a neutral zone of 300 miles from the United States coast, stresses that if German raiders take refuge in South American waters British ships will follow. 16 Oct 1940 WSC to Roosevelt on U-boat hunting with "Asdic" [anti-submarine detection indicator], which he offers to share with the United States; the sinking of the Royal Oak and the disappearance of the Scheer; comments disparagingly on inaccuracy of German bombing. 24 Dec 1939 WSC to Roosevelt on action off the [River] Plate in South American waters; feels America should not be aggrieved but rather grateful to Britain for liberating the South Atlantic to trade freely. 29 Jan 1940 WSC to Roosevelt relaying his order not to divert American ships into the British Isles' combat zone. 30 Jan 1940 WSC to Roosevelt asking for arrangements to be made ensuring that American ships will not be carrying any objectionable cargo. 7 Jan 1940 Letter from WSC to Roosevelt enclosing a precis of reports about Naval action off Montevideo [Uruguay]: the hunting of the Admiral Graf Spee and the Battle of the River Plate. 1 Feb 1940 Letter from Roosevelt to WSC thanking him for the account of the hunting of the Graf Spee; mentions public criticism of the searching and detention of American ships. 28 Feb 1940 WSC to Roosevelt on persuading the Moore McCormack Line to accept "Navicerts" [British system of inspecting cargoes of neutral ships] and not to carry mails for Scandinavian countries. 6 Mar 1940 Roosevelt to WSC stating that he is having the situation examined. 7 May 1940 Letter from WSC to Roosevelt sending official account of the Battle of the River Plate. Sep 1939-May 1940