832.61333/10–344: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Brazil (Donnelly)

3017. Byrnes press release on coffee of October 1 read as follows:

As a result of developments in the past 24 hours, Director of War Mobilization James F. Byrnes announced this afternoon that the resumption of coffee rationing is unnecessary.

Reports that coffee rationing was imminent caused runs on stocks in grocery stores in some parts of the country. However, ample replacement stocks to retailers are available from wholesalers and coffee roasters.

Justice Byrnes issued the following statement:

“With 4 months supply of coffee now available to civilians, and on basis of assurances received today by the Department of State from Brazil that the filling of orders for United States coffee importers would be resumed tomorrow, rationing of coffee is unnecessary.

“Stocks of coffee in this country available to civilians September 1, totaled 670,000,000 pounds compared with 201,000,000 pounds when coffee rationing began in November 1942 and 487,000,000 pounds on July 29, 1943, when rationing ended.”

In a public statement at Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian Finance Minister Arthur de Souza Costa gave assurances that one million bags of coffee per month would be provided to the American coffee trade through normal trade channels. American importers have had difficulty in recent weeks in contracting for adequate supplies from exporting countries to maintain the necessary flow of coffee to this country. Because of this difficulty stocks have been declining.

Justice Byrnes stated that “stocks of coffee now in this country amount to about 3½ months’ supply, which is more than a normal supply. Those stocks, together with stocks on ships bound for this [Page 640] country, and coffee purchased for shipment to this country, constitute about 4 months’ supply. The resumption of shipments will now make possible the maintenance of an adequate working inventory. Ample cargo space is available to ship the needed coffee to this country.”

Appended was the full text of the official statement issued by Souza Costa and contained in the Embassy’s 3531 [3535], October 1.