The Secretary of State to the Chargé in the Soviet Union (Grummon)
Washington, July 8, 1939—3 p.m.
84. Your 363 of July 4.
- On June 29 Oumansky suggested to the Secretary that since this Government had now been authorized by Congress to spend $100,000,000, during the period of the next 4 years in the purchase of strategic raw materials, it undertake to buy from the Soviet Union an average of 200,000 tons of manganese annually during that period at an estimated total value of $12,000,000.
- If the Commissariat for Foreign Affairs should suggest that such an obligation be undertaken in connection with renewal of the commercial agreement you may state in your discretion that although you are sure that in making the purchases authorized this Government will give just as full consideration to the products of the Soviet Union as it will give to those of any other foreign country, it nevertheless is not in a position to make in advance any pledges as to the amount or origin of the various materials to be purchased. You may also point out that these purchases will probably be made on the basis of definite specifications and on a competitive basis since under the terms of the legislation quality and price will of necessity be governing factors. It is not likely, therefore, that it will be possible to make specific geographical allocations of purchases. You may add that the War, Navy and Interior Departments will determine how much of the funds that will be made available are to be spent by the Government on manganese, and that although the amount has not as yet been determined, it is unlikely that any such sum as that mentioned by the Ambassador will be available for purchases from all sources, including domestic production.