14th June, 1944. 12
Commander McGrath, Captain Dyer, Mr. Beckett, Mr. Faulkner, and I met Mr. G. Huxley, with Miss Thompson, at the Ministry of Information at 4.30 p.m., on 13th June, at Mr. Huxley's invitation, to discuss whether anything needed to be done to improve relations between the American troops and the British troops and the public generally in public houses.
Commander McGrath said that according to his information the position was satisfactory on the whole. There might be occasional instances of friction, but relations were pretty good, and getting better rather than worse. The trade were anxious to co-operate as fully as possible with the Ministry, and welcomed this discussion, but he had no particular measures in mind which he would recommend. He read out an extract from a letter from Mr. Lake in the same sense, and he asked Mr. Huxley whether there were any particular areas from which he had received complaints.
Mr. Huxley said that his information accorded with that of Commander McGrath. There were no particular areas in which relations were worse than elsewhere, and he had no particular measures to recommend. The object of the meeting was to ascertain whether the position was all right or whether some action was required.
Captain Dyer said that in his experience in the Romford neighbourhood of Essex relations were not good, and the attitude of the Americans was objectionable. One cause was the fact that Americans were paid once a month. He thought that if they were paid weekly the difficulty arising from their higher rate of pay would be diminished, but it was agreed that this course was probably not feasible. He pointed out that the Germans had been putting propaganda across in Italy that the Americans were getting away with the English girls, while the English soldiers were away. When a contingent of the Eighth Army returned to Romford shortly before "D" Day, they were put behind barbed wire, and not allowed out. No such restrictions were applied to the Americans, who