The Secretary of State to the Deputy Administrator of the Foreign Economic Administration (Currie)

My Dear Mr. Currie: The Department has received from General William J. Donovan a proposition for the shipment of supplies from India via Tibet to China for the use of OSS. General Donovan in his pertinent letter of April 14, 1944 said that he was also writing to you regarding the matter, Major Tolstoy having spoken to you in that connection.

The Department in its reply of May 17, 1944, to General Donovan stated in essence that it appeared for various reasons inadvisable to proceed at this time with the project and that the Department was therefore not prepared to undertake to obtain the participation of the Chinese and British authorities in the project. With particular reference to the proposal made in this general connection by Mr. Sadu Tshang for the purchase by the United States Government of Tibetan wool, it was observed to General Donovan that the matter was one regarding which FEA presumably would be prepared to do whatever might appear to be economically sound and politically feasible. The Department is not in possession of other information than that submitted by General Donovan’s office regarding the present situation in respect to (1) the need of the United States for such wool as Tibet offers, (2) the buying program and the present attitude of the Indian Government toward this matter, and (3) the possibility of economically purchasing and shipping that wool cargo (indicated by Major Tolstoy to be no more than one shipload) to the United States. The Department feels that, if there exists an American need and if purchase and shipment could be economically effected, and if the concerned British authorities offered no objections on political grounds, FEA perhaps would find it desirable to proceed with this project.

The Department would appreciate receiving your opinion regarding the desirability and feasibility, in the light of American war [Page 977]needs and available transport facilities, of effecting a transaction for the purchase of the Tibetan wool.

It is suggested for your consideration that, in any event, besides there having been made a pro forma acknowledgment under date April 12, 1944 by Major Tolstoy to Mr. L. Gedund of the Sadu Tshang firm, your office might wish to send to Mr. Sadu Tshang at the address Kalimpong, Bengal, India, some informal acknowledgment of the receipt of the proposition.

Sincerely yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Joseph C. Grew

Director Office of Far Eastern Affairs