The Chairman of the Inter-American Coffee Board (Collado) to the Secretary of State

Sir: The Inter-American Coffee Board in its meetings of December 16, 1943 and January 4, 1944 gave serious consideration to the problems arising from the greatly reduced volume of trading in coffee which has occurred since about the middle of November 1943. The Board is of the view that unless action is taken promptly to correct this situation the quantity of coffee sold in the United States will be greatly reduced, the use of coffee substitutes will increase, and per capita consumption of coffee in the United States may be adversely affected for a period of years.

A number of factors have been discussed by the Board in connection with this situation. Among these are the growing reluctance on the part of exporters in some of the producing countries to offer coffee at prices which permit sale within the maximum prices established by the United States, and the effect on the movement of coffee from the producing countries of the system of licensing its importation into the United States.

The Board is of the view that a very important factor in the reduction of trade in coffee is the speculative withholding of coffee, occasioned at least in part by unfounded rumors which have recently been current in the producing countries of the imminence of an increase in the maximum prices of coffee in the United States. It has requested, therefore, that I bring the foregoing to the attention of the Governments of the producing countries and request that they take all possible steps to keep coffee moving to the United States in satisfactory volume.

I have also been asked by the Board to request the competent authorities of the United States Government to consider liberalizing the issuance of coffee import licenses with a view to facilitating the [Page 135] prompt utilization of all tonnage which may be available for the movement of coffee.

The Board would appreciate any action which may be taken with a view to aiding in the improvement of the situation.

Accept [etc.]

Emilio G. Collado