811.20 Defense (M)/1426: Telegram

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

195. Department’s 94, March 10, noon; and Embassy’s No. 188, March 12, 6 p.m. [a.m.]71 The following proposition has been handed to the Embassy by Thomas J. Williams of Minerales y Metales Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada stating that his concern is prepared to act as purchasing agent for the Metals Reserve Company under the conditions stipulated. A communication of Minerales y Metales dated March 13, 1941 reads as follows:

“Confirming the information given orally this morning, we are pleased to confirm herewith the following proposition for the purchase of tungsten in the Argentine Republic:

The Japanese are becoming increasingly aggressive in the market and are endeavoring to obtain long-term contracts covering tungsten production. They are now paying the equivalent of $22½ a short ton unit delivered in Buenos Aires. At present, therefore, there would seem to be no way to accomplish purpose other than by taking immediate measures to meet Japanese competition before future production is compromised. We are not opposed to start buying at best [Page 359] competitive prices assuring that we shall exercise always the utmost effort to prevent artificial increases. We are agreeable to operating on a constructively non-profit basis, namely a probable maximum of say one and one-half per cent on purchase price to cover actual purchasing expenses, with forwarding charges for the account of the Metals Reserve Company. We are willing to finance purchases in interior but would require reimbursement on arrival in warehouse on [in] Buenos Aires. We agree in principle to non-exclusive arrangement but emphasize the risk of artificial price increase if other commercial buyers are authorized to act simultaneously for MEC.72

Respectfully express, por Minerales y Metales Sociedad de Responsabilidad limited. Signed Thomas J. Williams.”

  1. Latter not printed.
  2. Metals Reserve Co.