651.116 Nitrate/71: Telegram

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

862. Reference my despatch No. 1347 of November 8 and Department’s telegram No. 456 of same date. Note just received from Foreign Office in response to Embassy’s representations asking maintenance American position in French nitrate market. The note,77 a copy of which goes forward in today’s pouch, states: The allocation of licenses has never been based on previous imports and if it had we would not have fared as well as recently since in 1930 (alleged year of institution of nitrate regime) no nitrate was imported from the United States (Embassy’s note: regime appears to have been instituted in 1931 when we did export to France78) that French Government is not in a position to modify regime or subordinate allocation of licenses to question of price especially in view of Ministry’s understanding of price fixing purpose of nitrate cartel to which American interests are reported to have adhered and that while no definite commitments have yet been made the Government expects to allocate practical totality of licenses to Chile on account of farmers alleged preference for the natural product.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Further communication with the French Government confirmed the accuracy of the Embassy’s comment (651.116 Nitrate/76, 77, 83).