811.20 Defense (M) India/65: Telegram

Mr. William Phillips, Personal Representative of President Roosevelt in India, to the Secretary of State

57. In pursuance of Department’s 5986 of November 27, midnight,50 to London and in continuation of my 51 of January 20, 6 p.m.,51 following is outline of plan for coordination of purchases of strategic raw materials in India. I am satisfied that the coordination desired by the State Department can, in this particular field of activity, be centered at Calcutta and can best be exercised by the Consul General52 acting on behalf of the Mission. Whenever problems arise requiring approach to the Government of India the Mission will be in a position to act. The following proposal has been carefully studied and discussed by the Consul General with the representative in India of the Board of Economic Warfare; American members of the Joint Mica Mission (except Waddell who has departed for United States); with Moseley, senior British purchasing official in India, who is head of Joint Mica Mission; also with Wilcox, shellac representative for British and American Governments. All these persons have given the [Page 284] idea enthusiastic support. The plan furthermore appears to be in entire conformity with Diplomatic Serial 3553 August 15, 1942.54

It is proposed to establish a “joint office of strategic materials” in India with a membership consisting of the senior representatives of all official British and American purchasing agencies functioning in this country. Questions of policy and administration would be dealt with by an Executive Committee consisting of Moseley, the American Consul General, and two other British and two other American members. Other official representatives would sit with the Committee when questions affecting their particular commodities or fields might arise. The Consul General, who would function as deputy chairman of the Committee, would of course carry out the policies and directives of this Mission.
This plan provides for effective coordination and centralization of authority and information without disturbing present purchasing practices, whether through Government agencies or private trade channels. It would likewise eliminate possibility of competitive buying by British and American Governments. The direct relationship of the individual members with their respective agencies would not be impaired.
British Government has already approached Moseley with a view to setting up a unified British purchasing organization here but Moseley favors joint effort.

May I have your views.

  1. Not printed, but see footnote 2, p. 178.
  2. Not printed; in this telegram Ambassador Phillips recommended that Clayton Lane, Consul at Calcutta, be transferred to New Delhi, there to act as “Coordinating Officer”. (123 Lane, Clayton/106)
  3. Kenneth S. Patton.
  4. Not printed; this circular telegram transmitted to certain Missions and Consulates detailed instructions concerning the coordination of the activities in foreign countries of all civilian representatives of the Executive Department (127.6/166a).