Germany, Politics, and Lend-Lease
L ate September 1944 marked the end of Crowley's first year as foreign economic administrator, a time for reflection whatever the circumstances. But its punctuation by the president's letter on Germany gave him special reason to look both behind and ahead. In the year past, he had been criticized publicly more often than in his previous ten years in Washington -- unfairly it would seem. Lend-lease was extended and new appropriations obtained, critics of other economic warfare programs were no longer heard, and the FEA was consolidated and reorganized. As for the agency's second year, the outlines were clear. Crowley foresaw problems involved in the extension of lend-lease flowing from Morgenthau's promises and the approaching end of the European war. And he saw another problem stemming from the president's letter ordering the FEA to "accelerate" its planning to control Germany's future warmaking power. The press said, "It's Now Leo Crowley's 'baby,'" but he knew he would not have a free hand. Finally, that fall he hoped to contribute in some manner to the president's reelection campaign.1
The highly public manner in which the president told the FEA to "accelerate" its planning for Germany and his phrasing, "under the guidance of the State Department," leave little doubt that he was backing away from Treasury Secretary Morgenthau's harsh plan. But the FEA's German Working Committee, formed in August to flesh out the ECEFP's policy of August 4, was uncertain what that meant for its work: there was no "authoritative direction."
Crowley could not provide it. Shortly after Quebec, the president had written him that the "German people must feel defeat"; then came his letter of September 29; and, after that, a statement in mid-Oc-