811.5017/11–1844: Circular telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to Certain Diplomatic Representatives in the American Republics 37

The decision announced by the OPA38 and WFA39 on November 15 to deny the petition of the Inter-American Coffee Board to the OPA for an increase in the coffee ceiling price was reached after Byrnes40 met with Vinson,41 Marvin Jones,42 Bowles,43 other officials [Page 165] of WFA and OPA and two officers of the Department. The decision was based very largely on domestic factors, such as the necessity for holding the price line, for holding down the cost of living and maintaining wages at their present levels in conformity with the Little Steel formula.

The Inter-American Coffee Board which met November 16 took the decision very hard and issued a press release stating their surprise at the decision and adding the following sentence “The Board is considering at this time a reply to the Office of Price Administration and will continue to take whatever steps are necessary to maintain the flow of coffee to the United States market while this matter is pending”. It is highly improbable that any relief action will be taken by the OPA.

  1. Sent to Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras Nicaragua, Peru, and Venezuela.
  2. Office of Price Administration.
  3. War Food Administration.
  4. James F. Byrnes, Director of War Mobilization.
  5. Fred M. Vinson, Director, Office of Economic Stabilization.
  6. Administrator of the War Food Administration.
  7. Chester Bowles, Administrator, Office of Price Administration.