The Minister in Yugoslavia (Lane) to the Secretary of State
[Received May 21—11:49 a.m.]
143. In recent conversation with the Minister of Finance11 he has referred to Yugoslavia’s urgent need of raw cotton and to our large surplus crop, a part of which may be destroyed. He inquired whether it would be possible for the Yugoslav Government to purchase enough for its needs here amounting to about 300,000,000 dinars and to establish a credit in the United States to finance the purchase but admitted that he had not yet given careful consideration to the details. He inquired whether some Government agency such as the RFC12 would be in a position to extend such a credit. In reply I reminded him of the Johnson Act13 but agreed to transmit his inquiry to the Department for decision.
I referred to our having had until now between 60 and 70 per cent of Yugoslav total cotton importations, to our not having been accorded a quota for any articles on the control list with the exception of automobiles and trucks, and to our desire to be assured of our share, based on our cotton importations during a representative period. He replied that if the financing of the cotton purchases in the United States could be arranged we should automatically have permission to import according to Yugoslav needs.
I should appreciate the Department’s telegraphic comment.