811.20 Defense (M)/11374: Telegram

The Ambassador in China (Gauss) to the Secretary of State

25. Embassy’s 1564, December 29, noon.2 Russian trade representative has approached Embassy with request that we accept for shipment by air from Kunming or nearby airports 1 to 2000 tons of tin, shipment to be made during the next few months. Dr. Wong, Chairman of the National Resources Commission, has made a like request. The tin represents delayed delivery against NRC’s 1941–42 contract with Russians. Russian representative refers to his understanding that we are allocating our tin from China to Russia and suggests that we accord Chinese tin obligated directly to Russia priority over tin under contract to United States. He points out that result will be the same insofar as delivery of tin in India for Russia is concerned and explains that procedure recommended would facilitate mutual accounting and NRC’s task in discharging its obligations. Embassy requests reply indicating whether Metals Reserve is prepared to give Russian tin priority position requested. It now appears that air transport space to India will be adequate to carry the tin and other strategic materials destined for United States.