810.20 Defense/6–2140: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Colombia ( Braden )

124. Points 1, 2 and 4 of your strictly confidential memorandum of May 27, 1940 and Sections 6 to 8 of your telegram no. 165, June 21, 6 a.m. We recently brought this dilemma to the President’s attention, it being pointed out to him that while Joint Resolution 36798 of which you have by now received a copy would permit the sale of coast defense and anti-aircraft matériel and the construction of naval vessels, it would not authorize credits; that the Export-Import Bank is prohibited by legislation from making loans for the purchase of military aircraft, et cetera (Public 420, 76th Congress99); [Page 71] and that the RFC1 by public declaration is committed against extension of credits for these purposes.

You are confidentially informed that the Department in reply to a consultation from the Third Pan American Coffee Conference now meeting in New York has stated to the President of the Conference that this government is prepared to recommend action to the Congress to implement a program for the production and marketing of coffee provided this government is able to approve the program which may be worked out.2 The conference was further informed that this government would have to be represented in the negotiations leading to a program of control and in any body that may be set up to administer the plan, it being stressed that recognition of the legitimate interests of consumers as well as of producers would be essential to the success of a program. With regard to the broad program of economic and trade cooperation between the American republics, you are already aware that the government is giving the most active attention to the proposal to establish a trading corporation of all the American republics to assist in the handling the marketing problems which are arising and will continue to arise as a result of the course of the war. In this connection reference is made to the President’s statement to the press quoted in radio bulletin no. 148 of June 21.3
The Navy Department’s action on this request is the subject of another telegram which will be sent you, probably today.
  1. Approved June 15, 1940; 54 Stat. 396.
  2. Approved March 2, 1940; 54 Stat. 38.
  3. Reconstruction Finance Corporation.
  4. See section entitled “Inter-American Coffee Agreement, signed at Washington November 28, 1940,” pp. 380 ff.
  5. See section entitled “Program proposed by the United States for inter-American economic cooperation,” pp. 353 ff.