890H.24/151c: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in Afghanistan (Engert)

23. The Department feels that every effort should be made, taking into account wartime conditions of supply and shipping, to accede to Afghanistan’s desire to meet its requirements by importations from the United States.

For the duration of the present informal arrangement for joint screening with the British of Afghan requirements, the criteria for recommendation of imports from the United States are, as you know:

Essentiality of import to Afghan economy.
Unavailability of imports from Indian production or other closer sources of supply.

With reference to point 2, the availability of imports from areas other than the United States should be considered in the light of our lend-lease contributions to those areas. The ability of closer areas to supply commodities furnished to such areas under lend-lease, or to supply commodities containing lend-lease components would not, except in special cases, justify adverse recommendation from the Legation. The same considerations apply to commodities the local production of which is substantially supplemented by lend-lease contributions.

It is realized that the Legation may not always have at hand information which will enable it to be guided by the considerations mentioned in the foregoing paragraph. Those considerations are pointed out, however, as applicable insofar as information readily available to the Legation permits.

For your confidential information the Department is informed that United States ships can be made available for transport of consignments to Indian ports, including those destined for Afghanistan.

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As the British Legation may view Afghan requests with less liberality, it is realized that attitudes of the two Legations toward recommendation may not always be identical. The Department desires full information when such divergence of opinion exists. In event that joint recommendation is unfavorable, basis therefor is desired in detail in order that the position of this Government may be fully explained to the Afghan Legation in Washington.