740.00112 European War 1939/7664: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Portugal (Fish)

224. Your 96 of January 19.

The Department has discussed with British Embassy here proposed reply to Dr. Salazar’s note. We expect to telegraph full instructions tomorrow.
Pending a reply to Dr. Salazar, we have attempted to withhold advising the Portuguese of the proposed increases in the prices of ammonium sulphate and petroleum products. However, in view of the fact that it was necessary to arrange for the immediate departure of the Campechano in order for it to arrive at Aruba on the dates specified by the Navy and in view of the fact that d’Andrade9 is anxious to arrange for a very early shipment of ammonium sulphate, it proved impracticable to withhold showing our hand.
Accordingly, d’Andrade has been advised that the price of ammonium sulphate will be $90 per ton f.a.s.10 port of shipment and, as stated in Department’s 214 of February 10,11 the prices of petroleum [Page 502] products to be carried in the Campechano (except bunkers, if any, taken to the Azores) will be doubled.
As news of these increases may come to Dr. Salazar’s attention before the formal reply is made to his note, you may consider it desirable to get word to him in an informal manner that you and your British colleague expect to reply to the note in the very near future and that the quotation of prices was made prior to the reply solely because of our desire to expedite the movement of the materials to Portugal.
For your information, it is our present intention to confine price increases to those above set forth. In addition, however, the price of tinplate to be supplied in connection with the sardine contracts will be above prices prevailing here and in the UK, but this price is definitely related to the price of the sardines. We understand that the British intend to raise the price of seed potatoes by approximately 33⅓ percent, and they have of course already quoted over-prices on copper sulphate.
  1. Presumably Freire d’Andrade, President of the Portuguese Purchasing and Trade Commission.
  2. Free alongside ship.
  3. Not printed.