File No. 611.326/131

The Secretary of State to the Brazilian Chargé ( Ipanema Moreira)

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of October 30,2 in which you ask me to forward to the proper Department of the Government a telegram which you have received from the Government of Brazil in relation to the situation which has arisen in regard to the importation of coffee from Brazil into the United States.

In reply I beg to advise you that I have consulted with the proper governmental authorities in this connection and desire to inform you that the Government of Brazil must be under some misapprehension as regards the action of the Government of the United States with reference to the entrance of Brazilian coffee into the United States.

I have been informed by that branch of the Government which has to do directly with the question of the importation of coffee into this country that with the exception of a brief space of time, viz., from October 14 to October 23 of this year, absolutely no restriction has been placed on the importation of Brazilian coffee into the United States. A notice issued by the War Trade Board on October 23, removed any restriction whatsoever and the only stipulation in that notice which could be possibly construed as a restriction was that portion which reads:

Import licenses may be refused to importers whose imports for the calendar year exceed the average of their imports for the years 1916 and 1917.

As your Government will clearly see, this measure was taken in order to prevent excessive speculation by American importers.

It is thought well to point out that the great decrease in the importation into the United States of Brazilian coffee for the past few months has been solely caused by the extremely high prices ruling in [Page 740] Brazil, as compared with those of other producing countries; the natural result being that American dealers have bought not only very freely from other producing countries but are still doing so, as their prices are very materially below prices at present existing in Brazil.

Accept [etc.]

Robert Lansing
  1. Not printed.