Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, by Mr. James H. Wright, Assistant to the Director of the Office of American Republic Affairs (Duggan)

Immediately following my talk with Judge Jones,14 concerning the critical coffee shortage, I discussed the matter with Mr. Cale, whereupon I went to see Ambassador Caffery.15 I described the situation to the Ambassador, who immediately despatched a strong telegram to the Embassy in Rio de Janeiro telling Mr. Donnelly to take the matter up at once with President Vargas in his name. Shortly thereafter a meeting was held in Ambassador Caffery’s office, attended by Messrs. Haley and Cale of ECA,16 Chalmers and Harrison of BA,17 and myself. In the course of this meeting, at the Ambassador’s request, I called Judge Jones on the telephone to tell him of Ambassador Caffery’s telegram to Rio and to say that we were hopeful that this would bring forth results. The Judge said that it looked as if the die were cast; there would be rationing Monday morning. He would rather take a whipping (sic) than do this, but his people had convinced him it was necessary. Approval had been obtained from Justice Byrnes18 and Judge Vinson.19 Judge Jones said that the runs on retail coffee stocks had gotten completely out of hand because of radio and newspaper reports of possible impending rationing. He saw no other course than to ration. I assured the Judge that we would immediately communicate to him any information we obtained from Brazil and he thanked me for this.

James H. Wright
  1. Marvin Jones, War Food Administrator.
  2. Ambassador Caffery had returned to the United States as a result of his assignment as Ambassador to the de faoto French authority in Paris.
  3. Office of Economic Affairs.
  4. Division of Brazilian Affairs.
  5. James F. Byrnes, Director of War Mobilization.
  6. Fred M. Vinson, Director, Office of Economic Stabilization.