Memorandum by Mr. Cabot Coville of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs58

It is suggested that Mr. Hamilton include the following points in his next conversation with the Thai Minister:

[Page 125]

With regard to the Minister’s statements in recent conversations on the subject of rejections of applications for export licenses for various orders of iron and steel products largely destined for Thai Government projects, the matter has been looked into and it has been found that all those iron and steel applications about which the Minister inquired were rejected in accordance with the policy announced by the President on December 10, 1940,59 to the effect that the export of iron and steel products outside the Western Hemisphere and the British Empire would be limited to usual pre-war amounts. Rejection was made prior to the Minister’s inquiry. If appeal is to be made from rejection decisions it is convenient for the Department that new applications be made, each accompanied by the rejected application and preferably identified by covering note describing the relation of the goods ordered to the Thai Government projects in question.

With regard to the assertion of the Thai Minister to Mr. Hamilton on March 28 to the effect that it is his understanding that licenses are not necessary for the export of five-gallon or smaller containers, it should be pointed out to the Minister that although smaller containers are exempt, the export of five-gallon containers is subject to license.

The Department desires to inform the Thai Minister that in reference to such petroleum products as have now been made subject to the license requirements because of defense needs of the United States the Government of the United States is endeavoring to handle the granting of export licenses to Thailand in such a way as to interfere as little as feasible with the normal needs of Thailand.

With regard to the statements of the Minister concerning the desire of Thailand to purchase from the United States such quantities of petroleum products as were previously obtained from the Netherlands Indies, the Department’s study of available statistics indicates in general that the normal petroleum products needs of Thailand, as measured by figures for earlier years, are being currently met, largely by imports from the United States. In this regard the Department will be glad to receive and study any further statistical information which the Thai Government may desire to supply. The United States is endeavoring fairly to administer regulations which are necessary on account of the national defense, and in administering such regulations the American Government is prepared to give full consideration to any reasonable requests.

  1. Initialed by the Chief of the Division (Hamilton) and by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Controls (Yost).
  2. See press release of December 10, 1940, Foreign Relations, Japan, 1931–1941, vol. ii, p. 232.