The Indian Agent General (Bajpai) to the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Alling)
My Dear Mr. Alling: Sometime ago, it was brought to our notice that, on account of the current shipping shortage and its effect on the United States programme of aid to China, the Administration wished us to consider the practicability of supplying some of China’s needs from resources in areas closer to China. The examples of materials that could thus be supplied were saltpetre, acetone, benzol, glycerine, asphalt and tar, tyres and tubes, leather, shellac, canvas duck and webbing, mica, cement, linseed oil, iron and steel products. India being one of the areas near to China, I made inquiries from my Government as to the extent to which they had already helped or could help. They have informed me that the Chinese already have a Purchasing Agency in India, representative of A. J. Bell of the Peking Syndicate, through which orders for textiles, canvas and cotton yarn, of the aggregate value of 1¼ million pounds sterling have already been placed in India. In addition, the Government of India have supplied small quantities of textiles machinery and accessories of paper machinery, chemicals and drugs, mica, graphite, brass sheets, paints and varnishes, emery cloth, copper wire, manila ropes and sundry machinery. In addition, the needs of the Chinese Government are under constant investigation of Mr. Bell in close co-ordination with the Supply Department of the Government of India and India would be able to supply shellac, cement, linseed oil, leather other than of the higher qualities and limited quantities of leather belting, insulated copper wire and bensol. Acetone, glycerine, asphalt, tar, tyres and tubes, iron and steel products are not, unfortunately, available. I am passing on this information as it may prove of some interest to you.