811.5017/3–2245: Circular telegram
The Acting Secretary of State to the Diplomatic Representatives in Certain American Republics 15
The request for an increase in coffee ceiling prices addressed to the Secretary of State in Mexico City on March 8 by representatives of the coffee producing countries of this Hemisphere has been denied on the same basis as was the petition of the Inter-American Coffee Board [Page 357] last November.16 Notes to this effect were delivered today to Washington Embassies of these countries. Full texts of the request and reply were released to press today17 and will be transmitted to you immediately by airgram. If local press reports are garbled, please release texts.
Because of the recent decline in sales resulting from wide knowledge among the coffee trade regarding this request and because of general dissatisfaction in recent months with United States ceiling prices, civilian stocks of coffee on hand here February 28 were the lowest since December, 1943; Army inventory is extremely low; and the volume of Army and civilian coffee purchased but not entered is also very low.
For foregoing reasons it is highly important that you take all possible steps with a view to stimulating sales.