891.24/416a

The Assistant Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs ( Merriam ) to the First Secretary of the British Embassy ( Thorold )

My Dear Mr. Thorold: I should like to confirm your telephone conversation of March 15 with Mr. Jernegan. It is our understanding that the War Shipping Administration has agreed to make available an American dry cargo vessel at an Australian port at the end of March or early in April. This vessel will be able to take approximately 8,000 tons of bagged wheat for delivery at a Persian Gulf port in early May.

The War Shipping Administration asks that the port of loading be designated and that arrangements be made to have the wheat ready for loading. It is understood that you will consult the appropriate officials of the Ministry of Food and Ministry of War Transport in this regard. Unless those officials perceive some objection, they will make the necessary arrangements for purchase, delivery at the Australian port, consignment in Iran and sale to the Iranian Government, in accordance with the general procedure previously followed in wheat shipments from the United States to Iran. They will inform the War Shipping Administration direct, at the earliest possible moment, of the port selected and will work out with WSA any questions which may arise regarding payment of freight.

It is further understood that the wheat to be shipped on the vessel in question is to be regarded as in addition to any grain now planned for shipment from the United States on British-controlled vessels, on United States Army supply ships, on Russian-aid vessels, or on tankers returning from Australia to the Persian Gulf.

Sincerely yours,

Gordon P. Merriam