811.20 Defense (M)/1194: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Argentina (Armour)

94. Embassy’s 118 [116], February 10, 7 [4] p.m.68 Metals Reserve Company69 is willing to enter at once into negotiations to buy up 1,800 tons of Argentine tungsten annually for a period of two or three years (with an option to take production over that figure on the same basis as it may acquire that amount) provided it can be secured on reasonable terms. It is ready to negotiate with Williams70 for the tungsten which his company produces and for any other tungsten which he may be able to acquire for sale to it. However, Metals Reserve does not believe it wise to attempt to use Williams as the exclusive [Page 358] agency for acquiring the tungsten of other Argentine producers. It suggests instead that the Argentine Government might be willing to create an organization to acquire the tungsten that will not come into the hands of the Williams Company and it would be willing to enter into a contract with this Argentine organization similar to that with the Williams Company.

The distinct wish exists to acquire all of the Argentine tungsten production. Will you therefore (a) discuss this matter with Williams and see if he is ready to sign a contract of this character with the Metals Reserve Company which is willing in that case to discuss terms at once, preferably through a representative in this country; (b) discuss the matter also with the proper Argentine governmental authorities and ascertain whether they would be agreeable to create the organization suggested and to enter into the agreement suggested with the Metals Reserve Company.

Will you also inquire whether the Argentine Government would be willing to enter into a similar agreement for beryllium. We would like to have first an estimate of the quantity of beryllium production and some indication of price.

  1. Not printed.
  2. The Metals Reserve Company was created by the Reconstruction Finance Corporatión on June 28, 1940, to acquire and hold in reserve a supply of strategic metals; the Reconstruction Finance Corporatión was a part of the Federal Loan Agency.
  3. Thomas J. Williams, of Minerales y Metales Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada.