The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Brazil ( Caffery )

No. 5892

Reference is made to the Embassy’s despatch no. 14,943 of March 15, 1944 and to the Embassy’s despatch no. 15,123 of March 28, 194495 regarding the question of shipping space for the transportation of coffee from Brazil to the United States.

The desire of the United States Government to lift as much Brazilian coffee as possible is, of course, well known to the Embassy and was restated as recently as March 28, 1944 in Department’s telegram no. 1004, wherein it was pointed out that the Embassy might assure the Brazilian authorities that every practicable effort will be made during the present quota year to provide shipping for all coffee sold under the Brazilian quota whether it be the then existing quota or a [Page 627] larger one.96 The following is therefore given principally as an addition to the Embassy’s background information.

Although the aforementioned statement in Department’s telegram no. 1004 of March 28, 1944 was not a commitment to provide tonnage for any given quantity of Brazilian coffee, it was cleared with the shipping authorities of the Government prior to transmittal and every practicable effort will be made to provide shipping for as much coffee as may be available. It seems improbable, however, that it will be possible to move more than the quota of 10,230,000 bags which was in effect prior to the twenty percent increase voted by the Inter-American Coffee Board on April 20, 1944. In fact, as much as 10,000,000 bags of Brazilian coffee should be imported this year, it should be regarded as a major war-time accomplishment of the shipping authorities and of the Brazilian and United States coffee trades, since the United States has never imported such a large quantity of coffee from Brazil in any previous year.

Mr. Eurico Penteado, Brazilian delegate to the Inter-American Coffee Board, has recently been assured by Mr. Harold Poel, Stockpiling and Transportation Division, War Production Board, that all efforts consonant with the necessity of moving other commodities of greater strategic importance to the war effort will be made to move 10,230,000 bags of Brazilian coffee during the present quota year.

Shipments during the months of April and May are expected to be very heavy, amounting each month, perhaps, to as much as 70,000 tons. Shipments during June and July are expected to be considerably less than those in April and May but it is hoped that shipments during August and September may again be heavy. This latter development depends, of course, on developments which at present are highly uncertain.

Any request from the Brazilian authorities for tonnage to relieve port congestion at Santos or to facilitate the movement of Brazilian coffee may be considered against this background.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Dean Acheson
  1. Neither printed.
  2. For correspondence on changing coffee quotas, see pp. 134 ff.