561.333D3/262: Telegram

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

For Achilles.18 Netherlands Series No. 9. Please discuss the following immediately with the Netherlands authorities:

Under the terms of the Inter-American Coffee Agreement signed here on November 28 by representatives of the United States and [Page 406] 14 other American Republics (see Radio Bulletin 283), this Government undertakes to limit imports for consumption of coffee from countries not participating in the agreement to a basic annual quota of 355,000 bags of 60 kilograms in any quota year beginning October 1. Coffee entered subsequent to October 1, 1940 will be charged against the first year’s quota. The figure of 355,000 bags is larger than the average imports, approximately 338,000 bags, supplied by non-participating countries in the 2-year period preceding October 1, 1940.

If this Government allocates the 355,000 bag quota among non-participating countries, the share for the Netherlands (including colonies) would be approximately 68,000 bags, that for the United Kingdom (including colonies) 160,000 bags, and the share for all other countries, 127,000 bags. These figures are based on the percentage shares supplied in the 2-year period preceding October 1, 1940, which are 19, 45, and 36 percent respectively.

Members of the Netherlands Legation, shortly before the signature of the Coffee Agreement, expressed concern to the Department regarding the size of the quota for non-participating countries, indicating a desire for an increase in view of their colonial coffee situation. Although no action can be taken to increase the basic total quota of 355,000 bags for non-participants in relation to the share for participating countries, Netherlands colonial coffee producers could compete for that entire quota, if allocations were not made to individual nonparticipating countries.

It is the Department’s belief that Netherlands coffee producers could probably market more coffee in this country if the quota for nonparticipants were not allocated, particularly in view of possible shipping difficulties affecting other non-participants.

Under the circumstances, it is believed that the Netherlands Government, in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 7 of Article VI of the trade agreement with the Netherlands,19 will agree to dispense with an allocation of the coffee quota. Please request a written expression of such agreement from the appropriate officials.

Please expedite this matter as much as possible and inform the Department of the results by telegraph.

For administrative and other reasons the Department would prefer not to make specific allocations to non-participating countries.

  1. Theodore C. Achilles, Chargé d’Affaires near the Governments of Poland, Belgium, Norway, and the Netherlands, established in the United Kingdom.
  2. Signed at Washington, December 20, 1935; for text, see Executive Agreement Series No. 100, or 50 Stat. 1504; see also Foreign Relations, 1935, vol. ii, pp. 579 ff.