File No. 103.94/489
The Ambassador in Great Britain ( Page) to the Secretary of State
[Received August 29, 5.45 a.m.]
1451. For Baruch from Summers, Armsby:
Duly authorized representatives of Ministry of Munitions of Great Britain have accepted following formal agreement for controlling tin. British representative has signed this document:
In order to provide for controlling the procurement and distribution of tin to meet the requirements of the countries participating in this agreement it is agreed as follows:
That an Inter-Allied Tin Executive be established in London composed of one or more representatives of each country participating with authority to carry out the arrangements agreed upon by the appropriate governmental agencies in each country. These arrangements shall be modified and readjusted from time to time by such further agreements as may be required in order to serve the best interests of all concerned.
The present arrangements subject to modification and readjustment as above provided for are:
- The allocation of pig tin to the countries participating shall be on the basis of the following estimated minimum annual requirements: for the United States 80,000 gross tons, for Great Britain 25,000 gross tons, for France 13,000 gross tons, for Italy 4,500 gross tons.
- As part of the United States allotment 60 per cent of the Straits tin output shall, during the continuation of this arrangement, be allocated to the United States.
- During the continuation of this arrangement Great Britain will refrain from purchasing tin from China (except Hong Kong), Mexico, the Dutch East Indies, Central America, South America or Australia or more than 30 per cent of the Hong Kong output. Great Britain and the United States shall both be at liberty to purchase ore and concentrates in South America in such proportions as may be required to enable so far as possible the smelters in both Great Britain and the United States to operate to their full capacity.
- The French and Italian requirements will be supplied through Great Britain from its allocation of Straits tin and the output of smelters in Great Britain.
- During the continuance of this agreement these countries will refrain from purchasing or procuring tin otherwise than as above specified on the understanding that their requirements will be fully supplied up to the amounts allocated to them. In case the total available annual supply of pig tin from all sources is found to be insufficient to provide the participating countries with the amounts allocated to them as above it is agreed that the respective allotments of the participating countries shall be reduced proportionately and their respective shares readjusted on that basis.
- All purchases for the countries represented on the Executive exclusive of those already contracted for shall be made under the direction of the Executive. The Executive may appoint a director of purchases in London and buying agencies in any or each of the various producing centers, these agencies to be the sole channel through which the various participating countries are to purchase the quantities of tin allocated to them in accordance with this agreement.
- As to tin produced in one of the participating countries and forming part of the allocation of another, the purchasing agency of the latter country will be permitted to procure its allotted share at the same price at the place of production as that paid by the producing country for its share. If necessary for this purpose all purchases for account of both countries will be pooled as to price at the place of production and the share of each paid for at the pool price.
- The Executive may from time to time fix the maximum and/or minimum prices to be paid by the participating countries for pig tin or tin ore in any producing country with the view on the one hand of preventing price raising by competitive buying and on the other of stimulating production by increasing the profits of producers.
- In case the allocation of markets results in disadvantage to any of the participating countries through inequality of prices in various markets the cost of purchases in the different markets may be equalized by monthly readjustments, so that all participating countries [Page 603] will pay the same average price for their respective shares. The Executive may require all purchases made for account of more than one of the participating countries in a common market to be pooled as to quantity and price.
- Each of the countries represented on the Executive shall keep the Executive fully informed of all purchases of tin from all sources for its own use.
- The Executive will collect information as to the measures adopted in the participating countries for economy in the distribution in the use of tin and may whenever it is considered desirable make recommendations to this end, to any or all of the participating countries.
Representatives of France and Italy have attended conference and are in accord with plan and we expect France and Italy to join agreement. British Government asked Japanese Ambassador to appoint representative to attend conference on this matter but no reply received. British Government now asking Japanese Government through Japanese Ambassador to join in this agreement. Suggest our State Department in Washington make same request through Japanese Ambassador, Washington. Tin Executive has been formed comprising Sir Leonard Llewelyn, chairman, and Tennant representing Great Britain, Armsby and Hughes representing United States and one representative each from France and Italy. Japanese representative will be added if Japan becomes party to the agreement. The Tin Executive appointed executive committee composed of Tennant, Hughes and Armsby to consider all matters of organization, purchasing, price fixing, etc. Consider it very necessary that War Industries Board proceed immediately to arrange sole buying organization in United States to purchase United States allocations under direction of Tin Executive in London and receive and pay for same and distribute to users in United States under control and direction of War Industries Board. As it is of the greatest importance to get this machinery organized and in operation at the earliest possible moment, think best plan is ask United States Steel Corporation to act for War Industries Board in this matter, on same general basis on which they acted for Food Administration on palm oil. If you don’t think this plan advisable or if Steel Corporation unwilling to act, will be necessary to have consumers form organization to function in this connection. Also think War Industries Board should arrange to license all users of tin in United States as has already been done in England.