File No. 800.24/62

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France ( Sharp)


4525. For McFadden [from Woolley, War Trade Board]:

No. 132. Embassy’s No. 4063, June 3, your No. 141,3 also Embassy’s No. 4074, June 4, 12 noon, your No. 140.

March 27, Baruch wrote Tardieu, French High Commissioner, requesting preliminary information on requirements, estimated supply, etc., of tin. April 8, sent Tardieu for transmission to his Government draft of plan for inter-Allied control, procurement and distribution of tin to meet Allied requirements, substantially as fallows:

An inter-Allied central bureau in London, to be constituted by the participating Governments, and composed of one or more representatives of each Government, to execute arrangements agreed upon.
An agreed allocation to each country of the supply available for its essential requirements, subject to such revision and readjustment as may be demanded from time to time, by changing conditions in accordance with the best interests of all concerned.
An agreed allocation among the countries concerned of the world markets in which each may purchase tin, and their [Page 592] respective shares of the purchasable supply of tin in such markets.
The establishment of purchasing agencies in each market for purchasing under the direction of the central bureau the supply allocated to each country participating.
The regulation from time to time under the direction of the central bureau of maximum and/or minimum prices to be paid in the different markets, with the view on the one hand of preventing price raising by competitive buying, and on the other hand of stimulating production by increasing the profits of the producers.

The Government of the United States will participate in the arrangement outlined in each of the foregoing paragraphs as follows:

As to paragraph 1. An American official in London will be designated to act as the representative of the United States on the inter-Allied central bureau and an expert in the tin business will also be designated to assist him as an associate or substitute or alternate member, or as an expert adviser.

As to paragraph 2. It is estimated that the United States will require for essential war products in this country for the United States and the Allied Governments approximately two-thirds of the world’s output of tin, which is estimated in round figures at 120,000 tons per year, two-thirds of which is 80,000 tons.

As to paragraph 3. It is estimated that the United States will require at least 60 per cent of the output of Straits tin. The allocation of the output of tin from other sources of production is subject to adjustment by mutual agreement in accordance with the best interests of all concerned.

As to paragraph 4. The allocation for the United States will all be purchased through a purchasing agency designated for that purpose by the United States.

In purchasing in neutral markets the United States purchasing agency will act either in concert with other similar agencies for the other countries participating in this agreement or, as in the case of the Nitrate Executive, under the direction of a single director of purchases representing the central bureau.

The question of pooling purchases made for different countries in a common market will require consideration. Purchases of Straits tin for the United States will be made through the United States purchasing agency and pursuant to some plan to be worked out with the British Government for determining the price.

As to paragraph 5. In case price fixing results in inequality of prices in the different markets to the disadvantage of any country on account of the allocation of markets the question of equalizing the cost of purchases in the different markets will require consideration.

[Page 593]

No replies yet received beyond routine acknowledgment of receipt. Identical notes same dates sent to representatives of British Government in Washington who replied promptly and have been negotiating since with us along lines of the proposal. We understand they were arranging to provide amount of tin required by France.

Negotiations with Baruch through representative of France here along lines suggested would undoubtedly bring agreement within few days and proposed inter-Allied central bureau could then immediately be established in London or Paris. Negotiations with Great Britain already well advanced but the serious delay complained of concerning France has been due to failure to receive any reply to the above communications. Request immediate action by France in reply to our proposals.

Baruch has sole authority to negotiate for United States and as he has no representative abroad authorized to speak for him it is preferred that the French proposals should be discussed with the French representatives here. Questions stated in your cable June 4 may be discussed here if thought desirable or referred to inter-Allied central bureau when constituted.

We agree with your statement that the tin negotiations in Washington should be separate and distinct from the inter-Allied conference on metals. Woolley.

  1. Not printed.