833.6363/210: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Uruguay (Dawson)

79. For Clover1 from Thornburg.2 Embassy’s A–15 of January 12.3 At the same time that your A–15, January 12, was receiving consideration by the Essential Requirements Committee4 various officers of the Department have had repeated conferences with Foreign Minister Guani and Dr. Giorgi5 on the same subject. The requests for additional oil supplies presented by the latter evidently were not coordinated with the application which you have presented in your A–15 in accordance with Department’s circular of July 25 as amended September 3.6

The Department wishes to give the Foreign Minister every possible and practicable assurance of assistance in securing essential oil supplies but wishes to avoid raising hopes beyond a point within which actual performance will be possible. For your information highest petroleum supply executives from London are conferring with corresponding officials here now and there is every reason to expect a further reduction in tanker tonnage available for other than direct military operations. You will be informed soon concerning outcome of these conferences.

Your A–15 appears to be a reliable statement of essential requirements determined in accordance with pool principles and Department is willing to approve the increases requested although the increase for transportation in Montevideo is decidedly questionable in view of similar situation in every other country including the United States.

The request presented here by the Foreign Minister and Dr. Giorgi appears to disregard entirely the pool procedure for determining essential requirements and merely to revert to earlier representations [Page 763] that Uruguay must have 62 percent of 1941 requirements. They ask specifically for full 1941 monthly quantities for the following:

Central railroad 5300 tons
Other railroads 650 tons
National and Artigas Frigorificos 1815 tons
Power plant 5000 tons
Agriculture 1280 tons
Domestic kerosene 1908 tons
Total 15853 tons
per month

or approximately 190000 tons per year for these uses.

This quantity is requested in addition to supplies now being allocated for war essentials and for 40 percent quota for other uses and would put total country on approximately a 62 percent basis instead of 40 percent exclusive of present war essentials.

In addition to being impossible of fulfillment with available tankers this request appears to depart from uniform procedure adopted to secure equal treatment.

In order to make most appropriate reply to Foreign Minister taking all considerations into account you are requested to give your comments to reach Washington not later than Monday morning February 1 with particular reference to following points:

  • First. Does your A–15 represent results of analysis based upon Department’s circulars of July 25 and Sept. 3 which outlines the procedure Department wishes to be followed? It is understood that additional requests may be made as occasion demands following same procedure.
  • Second. Is it correct as reported by Dr. Giorgi to Department that your analysis takes into account reductions in fuel oil resulting from conversions to electricity but fails to take into account corresponding increases in power plant requirements?
  • Third. Approximately what total saving would result if total requirements were supplied as finished products and all local refining suspended?
  • Fourth. Foreign Minister and Dr. Giorgi state their information was secured from Vegh Garzon7 and Terra Arocena.8 Was this information developed in collaboration with or reviewed by local pool committee or by yourself?
  • Fifth. Any other comments you consider relevant.

  • [Thornburg]
  • Hull
  1. Philip Petrie Clover, petroleum expert and Attach at Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Santiago, and Asunción.
  2. Max W. Thornburg, Consultant on Petroleum Matters in the Department of State.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Inter-departmental Committee which appraised requests for critical materials.
  5. Luis Giorgi, representative of the Rio Negro hydroelectric project.
  6. Neither printed.
  7. General Manager of Ancap (Administracion Nacional de Combustibles, Alcohol, y Portland).
  8. Interventor, named to replace the Directors of Ancap