833.6363/206: Telegram

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

153. For Thornburg from Clover. Department’s 79 of January 28. Experience since the formation of the Embassy’s original estimate of Uruguay’s essential requirements detailed in Montevideo telegram 617 of July 23, 1942,9 has confirmed that 62% of 1941 is substantially correct inclusive of all war essential activities and to this extent the Embassy agrees with the contention of Guani and Giorgi that this quantity should be supplied.

Montevideo telegram 640 of July 31, 1942, in reply to Department’s telegram 462 of July 29, 1942,10 recommended that any attempt to reclassify any industries as war essential be deferred until after some months of experience with 62% rationed in accordance with the decree of July 28, 1942, and stated that the Rationing Committee was told to request reclassifications when the need developed. Unfortunately for Uruguay, the Department could not accept the 62% basis.

On September 11, 1942, in note 195 the Embassy informed the Uruguayan Government that the basic ration available was 40% of the 1941 consumption and that this made it advisable that the Rationing Committee should recommend to the Embassy without delay their determination of the needs of the war essential industries as a category to be supplied outside of the Uruguayan economy. This was not done, but the Embassy did not press the reclassifications because local rationing measures were not enforced to the extent necessary to hold consumption within visible supplies and it appeared salutary to let a stock shortage develop without further Embassy interference and thus demonstrate unmistakably the fact that tanker tonnage really was limited. In December the inevitable happened, stocks became practically exhausted, and rationing is now realistic.

Therefore the Embassy initiated reclassification studies and made the recommendations included in the Embassy’s A–15, January 12, 1943.9 These were based upon statistics where available and estimates of informed persons where no figures were obtainable and all evaluated by Clover on the basis that 40% was the civilian ration and only justifiable exceptions meaning war essential industry requirements would be allowed.

The Embassy recommends that extra allotments be limited to the amounts and categories named in the Embassy’s A–15 and other cases already submitted with the understanding that additional war essential requests will be considered as the need is demonstrated.

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Questions in the Department’s telegram 79, May 24, 9 a.m. [January 28, 10 p.m.],

  • First, yes;
  • Second, our analysis was based upon 1941 consumption plus individual needs in 1943 of war essential industries. We made it emphatically clear to the rationing committee that the 40% civilian quota was the quantity allocated by the military authorities who had conscripted all tankers and had no direct relation to the needs of the South American countries but was determined solely by what could be released from our direct war effort. For this reason increased power plant needs are not relevant.
  • Third, theoretically the refinery losses would be saved but the loss in flexibility might necessitate carrying greater stocks of finished products which would cancel part of the gain. Politically the shutting down of the refinery would be an unfortunate necessity which the Embassy would prefer to avoid.
  • Fourth, the local pool committee supports the efforts of the Uruguayan mission. The Embassy was not consulted.
  • Fifth, the Embassy supports fully the Uruguayan presentation of Uruguayan requirements but takes the position that the war requirements and not the Uruguayan necessities are the deciding factor.

Our A–15 and other individual cases already submitted have given as liberal an interpretation of war essential requirements as the Embassy feels justified in making, although other cases may arise later. [Clover.]

  1. Not printed.
  2. Neither printed.
  3. Not printed.