File No. 658.119/128

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


7956 [7946]. A matter of first importance has arisen in connection with the Swedish negotiations. The details of the proposal as regards ore arranged by Doctor Taylor before his departure contemplated the retention in Sweden for her domestic manufacture for all ore having less than .04 per cent phosphorus. In view of [Page 1085] the great importance to the German war industry of Swedish ore it is the opinion of the Allies here that no efforts should be spared which would make possible the utilization by them of a very considerable portion of the ore with higher phosphorus content which previously had been going to the enemy. The only method of reducing such shipments to enemy appears to be the purchase and removal of a part of the higher phosphorus ore and I am requested to ascertain with as little delay as possible how much of such ore could be absorbed by the United States.

The importance of this ore to Germany is represented to be such that the cost or trouble of possible changes, if any, that might have to be made in existing American furnace methods would be small as compared with the benefits of depriving the enemy of this ore. The French and English authorities are making similar inquiries, and as the proceedings in the Swedish negotiations will be considerably [affected by] the amount of this ore that the Allies can take, it is of first importance that the information be furnished me at once. Owing to peculiar local conditions the purchase and storage of ore in Sweden is practically impossible in addition to its being unwise to leave large stocks in Sweden as a temptation to enemy. If proposed plan successful the output of the mines would be reasonably restricted so that reduction of shipments to enemy will be determined by amounts Allies can take. Please furnish copy War Trade Board and War Industries Board.