891.5018/32: Telegram

The Minister in Iran (Dreyfus) to the Secretary of State

1060 bis. Commander Jackson Director General of MESC here for a week studying Iran grain civil transport situation in close consultation with this Legation, British Legation, Millspaugh Mission and [Page 624] MESC Tehran. Unanimously agreed outlook is doubtful and urgent steps are required to improve grain collection and transport if a crisis like last winter’s to be avoided.

Efficient and reliable personnel is most critical need and Millspaugh and I feel this must be obtained where it can be found at the moment. Accordingly we have agreed to following to be effected as fast as possible:

MESC to try to provide 16 officers and 9 noncommissioned officers from British Army in mid-East to assist in control and operation of Iranian civil transfers. These men will be stationed at various provincial centers outside Soviet zone. They will be attached technically to MESC Tehran but will act under Millspaugh and his United States aides. They will not receive pay or allowances from Iran Government and will have no titles. Their services will be temporary and will not affect purely American character of Millspaugh Mission nor its control of Iran economic matters.
MESC will also provide 14 British officers to assist cereal collection and distribution in provinces outside Soviet zone. They will operate under same conditions as transport men.
Unless Soviets object the 8 available Americans and non-British Europeans now employed by Iran Road Transport Office will go to Soviet zone to control transport there.
British Minister and I will ask Soviet Chargé to arrange for Soviet officers to assist collections in northern zone in same way as it is proposed for British officers in South. If Soviets are willing to provide transport control officers also, that will be welcomed.
MESC will seek milling technician to increase capacity of Tehran flour mill which is now well below city’s daily consumption. MESC also to seek competent accountant forward transport office to fill in pending arrival of American staff.
Factual reporting on grain and transport situation will be centralized thru MESC Tehran to MESC Cairo but American and British Legations will continue to report direct to their Governments on policy aspects.
With approval of both Legations MESC Tehran is asking MESC Cairo to prepare reserve of 10,000 tons wheat to be available for Iranian civilian consumption 6 weeks’ notice. This would be called upon only as a last resort.

General Connolly has been asked to assist by lending a few trucking experts on same basis proposed for British Army officers. He has declined on ground that he has none to spare and that responsibility for conditions in Iran rests primarily with British and not at all on American forces.

Repeated to Cairo for Landis.43

  1. James M. Landis, American Director of Economic Operations in the Middle East.