File No. 825.6374/46

The Ambassador in Great Britain ( Page) to the Secretary of State


7384. My 7119, September 7 and 7341, October 5, 7 p.m.1 France, Italy, and Russia have arranged [agreed] to method of pooling nitrate purchases and allocations suggested by British Government. As you know British Government is suspending any definite action to give American War Industries Board opportunity to consider the question. British Ministry of Munitions received a few days ago a [Page 670] telegram from Brand stating that while Baruch and War Industries Board favored nitrate purchases they desired purchasing operations directed from Washington rather than London. Representatives of Great Britain, France, Italy and Russia are opposed to this suggestion and are so informing their Governments on the following grounds:

At least half the world’s nitrate interests is in London.
London is the international nitrate sales market.
The shipping difficulties are bound to be considerable and the tonnage interests of all the Allies are formally centralized here in the Inter-Allied Chartering Commission.
5. [4].
The negotiations with Chile for fuel supplies to the nitrate oficinas are directed from here.
There is no existing inter-Allied body in the United States similar to the International Purchasing Commission in London for handling this matter as an established part of the whole Allied supply position. The representatives of these four powers have no objection to having a representative or committee in Washington through whom the proposed Nitrate Executive would operate but are strongly of the opinion that to make Washington the actual seat of the Executive would hamper all the Allies and prejudice the value of the proposed pool.

Brand reports that the War Industries Board lacks explicit statement of the Allies’ nitrate requirements and I beg leave to suggest that Chairman Baruch be supplied with the figures contained in my telegram on the subject of September 13, 7 p.m. [September 7, 1 p.m.?1]

  1. Latter telegram not printed.
  2. Ante, p. 666.