611.48N16/81: Telegram

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

2653. My 2623, December 14, 3 p.m. Following are pertinent excerpts from a letter dated December 15 received today from the Foreign Office:

“Copies of the memorandum were at once communicated to the interested departments who have now asked the Foreign Office to convey to you the following reply:

In the first place it is to be explained that the Control Scheme does not in any way discriminate against United States interests. To enable the scheme to be introduced quickly and with as little dislocation of the trade as possible, it has been necessary to limit it to established shippers of cocoa from West Africa, among whom the exportable cocoa crop has been divided in proportion to their past business. This arrangement has excluded from participation in the scheme all firms, whether of British or other nationality, which had not operated during previous years. It is regretted that this arrangement unfortunately results in the exclusion from direct participation in the scheme of a United States concern which it is understood was proposing to establish itself as a buyer in British West Africa. At the same time it may be pointed out that this and all United States interests will be able to purchase British West African cocoa on exactly the same terms and conditions as other buyers and that they will be in no different position as regards buying than would have been the case if they had a direct purchasing arrangement in West Africa. If at any time United States interests should feel that the cocoa control is operating unfairly, the competent authorities will be happy to investigate the matter carefully and to endeavour to remedy any complaints. In this connexion the Minister of Food would be very glad to arrange for a member of his Department to explain the Cocoa Control Scheme and to discuss it fully with a representative of the United States Embassy. In Mr. Morrison’s view, this would perhaps be the most satisfactory method of removing any misunderstanding which may exist and of clearing up any difficulties. You will, no doubt, let me know should the Embassy wish to avail themselves of Mr. Morrison’s suggestion.”