861.24/1275: Telegram

The Second Secretary of Embassy in the Soviet Union ( Thompson ) to the Secretary of State

91. From Faymonville for Stettinius.

I have informed Commissar of the general contents of your cable 56, January 30, 1 a.m.54 He understands but regrets the necessity for diversion and states that present situation is in no sense the result of hoarding propensities. He feels that the cause of present difficulties was your decision to withhold ships from northern route in early summer.55 He states that this decision upset shipments by changing routings and, therefore, caused a revision of priorities. Shipments of steel were extremely important during the summer and fall, but had to be superseded in priority by absolute necessities and indispensable items which would have been received through northern ports under former plans, but which were dammed up by the changes in priorities. He notes that ships which were loaded in July are arriving at Soviet ports only this month.
Commissar foresees that pipe will be urgently needed for repair of Caucasus installation and warns that shipment of pipe from us may soon receive a much higher priority.

Repeated to Kuibyshev. [Faymonville.]

  1. Not printed; it reported urgent requirements for steel pipe in American industry and the unwillingness of the Soviet Purchasing Commission to release some of its stocks of pipe which were awaiting later shipment, delayed because of other Soviet priorities, and which seemed to be a case where Soviet representatives were “hoarding items which cannot be shipped and are still asking for more.” (861.24/1253a)
  2. For correspondence on the difficulties of maintaining convoys on the northern route to the Soviet Union and on measures taken to develop alternate routes, see pp. 624700, passim, and telegram No. 20, January 9, 5 p.m., p. 739.