641.006/546: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Kennedy) to the Secretary of State

683. Your 514, March 18, 7 p.m.47 Following is text:

Steps are to be taken to unify the control of the trade in imported foodstuffs. The more important foodstuffs are already controlled by the Ministry of Food, and some, but not all of these, can only be imported under a Board of Trade import license; other foodstuffs require an import license but are not at present controlled by the Ministry; and there are certain foodstuffs which have not hitherto been subject to any control at all.

It has now been decided that the Ministry of Food shall take control over foodstuffs generally, and, in order to complete the scope of the control, a general order is being made by the Board of Trade and will be published on Thursday, March 21, prohibiting the imports of all foodstuffs, including feeding stuffs for animals, except under license. The only exceptions from the order are wines and spirits, fresh and cured fish, and live animals.

The order will apply to all foodstuffs, not already subject to license, which are despatched after March 20 and arrive in this country after March 27. Open general licenses will be issued permitting, until further notice, the importation of consignments of the following classes foodstuffs without separate licenses.

From all sources: cod liver oil; all cheese except cheddar, Cheshire, gouda, and edam types; vegetables in salt or brine; dried vegetables; bananas; tomatoes; Barcelona nuts; hazel nuts; Brazil nuts, and chestnuts; vinegar; arrowroot; tapioca, cassava, mandioca; meat extracts and essences; malt extracts; isinglass and agar-agar; yeast.

From British countries: fresh fruit and nuts used as fruit, fruit juices, and crystallized fruit; fruit pectin; jams and marmalade; fresh vegetables; chutney; curry powder; honey; biscuits; peel, candied or drained; pepper; shell fish, fresh.

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All foodstuffs can be imported from Eire without separate licences except meat (including bacon and sausages), butter, condensed milk and milk powder, cream, margarine, lard and imitation lard.

The existing open general licences for the importation of goods from France, Algeria, and Tunis will remain in force. Importers are warned that impending shipments of all foodstuffs not covered by these open general licences should be cancelled immediately or postponed until an import licence has been obtained; applications for import licences should be addressed in future to the Ministry of Food in respect of all foodstuffs, except the following: coffee; chicory; biscuits; nuts used as fruit; caviare; cider and perry; fruit juices; table waters; spices, including pepper and liquorice. Applications in respect of these foodstuffs should be addressed to the Import Licensing Department, Board of Trade.

  1. Not printed; it requested that text of British press release on imposition of import licenses for foodstuffs be sent the Department (641.006/545).