740.00112 European War 1939/5852: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Consul General at Algiers (Cole)

219. Your 419, June 26, 3 p.m. For Murphy. Representatives of the Board of Economic Warfare and the British Embassy question the advisability of permitting the Ile de Noirmoutier and the Ile d’Ouessant to proceed to Algiers in view of the uncertain political situation in the Mediterranean. Will you please telegraph whether or not in your opinion governing conditions have altered since you made your recommendations in this regard and amplify your statements regarding the beneficial effect which the arrival of these vessels at Algiers would have.

The Board of Economic Warfare has objected to the sending of fuel oil for the Coastwise Service. It feels that cork and possibly other commodities from North Africa, if needed in this country, will be forthcoming without this service. In this connection the French Embassy has informed us that as much as 10,000 tons of cork might be available in Morocco. The Department would therefore like your comments on the possible value of the Coastwise Service in relation to the distribution in French North Africa of goods from the United States, particularly if the accord vessels are not permitted to proceed to Algiers.

Board of Economic Warfare also contends that if Coastwise Service is not used goods will have to be transported by rail thus using railroad facilities which otherwise would benefit the Axis. Please comment.

Since final decision must be made before accord vessels take on fuel oil at Curaçao we shall appreciate prompt reply.