800.6354/294: Telegram

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

4320. Department’s 3085, August 11.

(1) At meeting International Tin Committee today following official communiqué issued: [Page 523]

“Satisfactory progress was made in discussion of the new draft agreement for tin control and the delegates unanimously agreed to refer recommendations on certain points to their respective Governments.”

(2) Following sections strictly confidential for information of Department. Embassy reliably informed agreement reached on all principal controversial points except for certain demands made by Thais, see section (5).

(3) To appease both Bolivians and Thais, who are asking for 6% and 9% respectively above their actual production between July 1, 1940, and June 30, 1941, agreement was reached to raise all new standard tonnages 9% above actual performance during period cited.

This means of course Bolivians will actually receive lower percentage of total permissible tonnage, but obtained their desired figure of 46,000 tons or, as my informant put it, “were given a better looking figure to put in their show window”. Patiño present at meeting but did not appear at this Embassy or request Mission’s aid.

(4) Additional clause to article XVI of renewed tin agreement which was desired by Dutch has been accepted though Dr. Hart’s86 proposed draft has been somewhat altered. His original text read as follows:

“Any contracting government may, at any time, if it considers that any other contracting government has failed to comply with its obligations under the present agreement, call a special meeting of the Committee to decide whether any major infringement of the agreement has taken place, and, if so, what measures shall be recommended to the contracting governments in view of the infringement. It is here specifically agreed that total exports from any contracting territory for a period of 3 consecutive months exceeding the total permissible exports for such a period by 10% shall constitute a major infringement of this agreement.

Contracting governments have the right, if the Committee decide that any major infringement of the agreement has taken place or if the major infringement as specifically mentioned above has been proved to the satisfaction of the Committee, to withdraw from the scheme if they wish to do so.”

Textual changes made in Hart’s draft not available tonight, but Embassy assured essential meaning of original not changed but merely clarified.

(5) For demands advanced by Thailand, see Embassy’s No. 3655, August 15 last. To demand (a) for minimum tonnage, Committee replied that such clause out of date and not properly part of any practicable control scheme; (b) plea for increase in standard tonnage figure to 20,000 tons after 3 years based on Thai’s present [Page 524] and prospective wartime machinery shortage, Committee replied all signatories were short of machinery, therefore, this plea would entitle all to similar proportional increases. Thai delegate finally undertook to ask Government to withdraw its requests.

My informant stated that if Bangkok refuses to withdraw its demands choice will probably be either to leave Thai out of agreement or insert escape clause for benefit of other signatories. In any event competent and informed opinion here does not foresee any breakdown in agreement on Thai issue.

  1. Member of the Netherlands East Indies delegation on the International Tin Regulation Committee.