811.24 Raw Materials/546½

Joint Statement Released by the Army and Navy Munitions Board on Exports of Essential Rate Materials, January 19, 1940

In view of recent activities involving the export of certain strategic materials, the Honorable Charles Edison, Secretary of the Navy, and the Honorable Louis Johnson, Assistant Secretary of War, authorized today the following statement by the Army and Navy Munitions Board.

“On October 11, 1939, the Army and Navy Munitions Board in an official release3 called attention to the possibility that abnormal exports of certain materials classified as strategic might weaken the national defense position of the United States with respect to such materials in spite of the best efforts of the Government to assure an adequate supply of these commodities.

“While there has been a cessation of abnormal exports of some deficiency materials since that statement, the situation in regard to others has become more difficult.

“In the case of crude rubber, for example, there is evidence of a strong demand for unusual exports, especially to European nations. Furthermore the greatly increased re-export of pig tin from the United States to European nations has in the past few weeks become a matter of much concern.

“While the more patriotic and responsible dealers and manufacturers in the United States are cooperating with the Army and Navy Munitions Board in its effort to maintain an adequate supply of these materials in the United States, others, apparently through a lack of appreciation of the situation, or for other reasons, are continuing to engage in export activities detrimental both to the industrial economy of the Nation and to the national defense.

“The War and Navy Departments believe that unless the method of voluntary cooperation can be counted upon to operate with complete effectiveness it will become necessary to use other means to deal with the situation which has developed with respect to the export of crude rubber and tin.”