811.20 Defense (M)/6802a: Circular telegram

The Secretary of State to the Diplomatic Representatives in Certain American Republics 60

This Government has concluded negotiations with Brazil and certain of the other American Republics producing wild rubber assuring to the United States their entire production other than the amount required for essential needs. Negotiations are nearing conclusion in a number of the other producing countries.

Brazil, the biggest potential producer, has been subject to heavy pressure from other Republics for assurances to supply their essential needs, either for crude rubber or rubber products. Under Brazil’s agreement with the United States all its production, both raw and manufactured, is contracted for to us, and Brazil is accordingly unable to comply with the requests.

It has not been the intention of this Government, in entering into these contractual arrangements, to deprive the other Republics of their sources of supply for necessary products. However, it has been [Page 178] considered unwise to postpone negotiations pending the determination of the various essential wartime requirements of the other republics and of the methods by which these requirements might most efficiently be satisfied. Up-to-date information has not been available here as to the extent to which methods of manufacturing tires and tubes achieve as great a degree of conservation of crude rubber as is the case here, where reclaiming and recapping facilities are in use. The manufacture of a great number of rubber products has been discontinued in this country and drastic measures for the conservation of rubber have been instituted.

This Government is prepared to give assurances that, on the basis of the foregoing factors and having in mind the great shortage of rubber, this Government will endeavor repeat endeavor to satisfy the essential wartime requirements for rubber products, including tires and tubes of the country to which you are accredited.

The question of whether these requirements will be satisfied by shipment from here or from Brazil or from some other manufacturing country will not be determined by any motives of commercial gain in this country but solely on the basis of efficiency from the point of view of availability of shipping, potential risk of loss in shipping, and of the amount of crude rubber consumed. It appears logical that a substantial part of these requirements should be furnished from stocks contracted for by this Government in Brazil. Existing Venezuelan manufacturing capacity might best be used for supplying nearby countries. But in any event the contractual rights obtained by this Government will not be used to deny to the other Republics their essential requirements of rubber products.

You are requested to bring the substance of the foregoing to the attention of the proper officials of the government to which you are accredited.

  1. Sent to representatives in Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Peru, Mexico, Cuba, Panama, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and El Salvador.