File No. 825.6374/53

The Consul General at London ( Skinner) to the Secretary of State


Department’s 5831, November 16, to Ambassador. Nitrate Executive met informally yesterday to receive Department’s views, concerning which following represents thoughts and wishes of Executive.

Department’s paragraph 3: British Government has already purchased 425,000 tons for itself. Executive not prepared to go into open market until purchasing organization formally constituted. 4: British representatives, as I cabled 17th, desire to employ Gibbs as sole purchasing agent believing his relations with Grace & Co. and other concerns such as would result practically in employment of all existing agencies. Italian representative strongly favors appointment of special representative as suggested in Department’s paragraph 5 to take superior direction of all undertakings in Chile. France leans towards Gibbs, Russia non-committal. 6: See my November 17. No difficulty with respect to bags. 8: British representative stated that another board was arranging pooling of all tonnage which necessarily would include tonnage for nitrate. Foreign representatives understood that paragraph 13 of plan for financial arrangements expressed American wishes but are quite disposed to accede to any other proposals. Now await acceptable draft from the United States. 10: Foreign representatives are now of opinion that Chilean combination should be neither encouraged nor discouraged, regard it as natural consequence of proposed Executive here and believe that relations between two proposed bodies can be mutually [Page 675] satisfactory. View of all foreign delegates is that no practical steps can be undertaken until final draft of arrangements completed and ratified. They regard it as vitally important that this ratification should be expedited to the utmost extent. Revised draft being now prepared for Department’s approval.