811.24 Raw Materials/983b

The Assistant Secretary of State ( Berle ) to the Chairman of the United States Maritime Commission ( Land )

My Dear Admiral Land: As you probably know, at the last meeting of the Cabinet decision was reached to treat the matter of the prompt acquisition of adequate supplies of strategic and critical raw materials as one of urgency and of great national importance. In accordance with the President’s instructions, we are therefore working along two lines: (a) To expedite the movement into this country of such commodities as rubber and tin as may already have been bought by American interests that are awaiting shipment to this country, and (b) to develop adequate plans for the purchase of the needed supplies. As I already indicated in a previous letter, it is important that the movement of these supplies be not delayed by shortage of shipping either in [Page 260] the immediate present or over the next few months when the larger program may come into effect. The Department will be glad to keep the Maritime Commission advised of estimates of the particular amounts of rubber and tin awaiting movement to the United States.

As of the present moment immediate effort must center on the matter of the expeditious movement of rubber and tin already in American possession to this country. For that reason inquiries have been addressed to the shipping centers in the East and the advices received I forwarded to you last week. I have now received a later report which would appear to indicate that the one point where shortage may arise in the immediate future is in regard to shipments of agreement rubber from the Netherlands East Indies. You will note that the Consul calls attention to the fact that the Isthmian Line has scheduled only one sailing for June which I understand to be less than the ordinary schedule. In our agreement with Great Britain whereby this rubber was acquired it was specified that it should be transported to this country in American ships and now the prospect that there will be only one sailing in June would appear to be a matter requiring consideration.

May I therefore ask the Maritime Commission to consider again whether in its judgment this service is adequate to carry out the policies laid down by the President. This Department must necessarily rest on the judgment of the Maritime Commission.

Sincerely yours,

Adolf A. Berle, Jr.