811.24 Raw Materials/155: Telegram
The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Belgium (Davies)
31. Your 69, June 1, 6 p.m. Since the United States accounts for approximately one half of the world’s consumption of tin, this Government probably will wish to acquire reserve stocks considerably in excess of the supply available from the Belgian Congo. To be more specific, you may state that this Government probably would consider an exchange deal involving as much tin as Belgium could arrange to supply over a 2-year period. Assuming that export quotas under the International Agreement will remain at present levels, and using the figures presented by Camille Camus, apparently the maximum amount of tin that could be supplied by Belgium without raising production above the standard quotas of the International Agreement would be in the neighborhood of 8,000 short tons a year, or 16,000 tons for the 2-year period.
This Department and the Department of Agriculture will be interested to have further information as to the nature of the concern of the Belgian authorities regarding the “character of these materials” as mentioned in your telegram.
As to possible transportation difficulties in the event of war, you may wish to point out that the best means of avoiding such difficulties will be to expedite the present negotiations, stating that this Government will be prepared to make the desired amounts of wheat and cotton available as quickly as possible after an agreement has been reached.