611.48N16/78: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Johnson) to the Secretary of State

2623. Department’s 1596, December 13, 5 p.m. Importance of seasonal factor in cocoa buying has been emphasized to British authorities and is fully recognized by them. An early reply to our representations is promised, if possible within the next few days, but with an informal intimation that a favorable reply is doubtful.

An unconfirmed impression has been gained in the course of the discussions that the attitude of the British authorities toward the Rockwood proposals may possibly have been colored by the fact that earlier attempts on the part of American interests to enter the West African cocoa buying trade have not only failed for purely commercial reasons but have in some instances resulted in difficulties of various kinds. For example, the latest effort of this kind, that of … has ended with the deportation from the Gold Coast of their representative … who is now stranded in England. This is probably [Page 126]not a determining factor in the decision to be reached regarding Rockwood but at any rate doubt has been expressed by British officials as to whether Rockwood’s efforts would have proved successful even if Government control had not intervened.

Full report follows by mail.