The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Johnson) to the Secretary of State
[Received 12:55 p.m.]
520. Embassy’s 49 , December 19, midnight. Barring Far Eastern developments, the Colonial Office is sanguine about the tin situation and the fact that the contract with the Metal Reserve Corporation will be fulfilled in the specified period. In the circumstances it regards production as proceeding satisfactorily, the 130 percent quota as being in effect unrestricted production except perhaps in the Dutch East Indies. It has agreed to look again into the question whether the excess profits duty on United Kingdom registered companies is affecting production on these mines as compared with those owned by local registered companies and will supply the Embassy with the resultant data when obtained, but it has the impression that the duty is not a significant curtailer of output.
The Colonial Office is also confident that a renewal of the tin agreement will be effected but probably not until the last possible moment. Much of this confidence is based on the expectation that the suggestion made to Sir Frederick Phillips74 of a further 50,000 ton purchase will be concluded in due course and that this will greatly strengthen the hands of the British Government in effecting a meeting of minds between the Dutch and the Bolivians.
Incidentally an exchange of cables between Patiño75 and Campbell occurred on January 23 and 24. The former indicated that Bolivia could not accept a reduction in her stand[ard] tonnage “having good reasons for refusing” and the latter asked why such reduction could not be accepted based on actual exports over the year July 1940 to end of June 1941 and referring to the minutes of the previous meeting and emphasizing the necessity of Bolivia being represented at March meeting. As the Department is aware Todd in his capacity as American consumer representative receives copies of the minutes of the meetings and all other data circulated to the Committee.