The Assistant Secretary of State (Clayton) to the Deputy Administrator, War Shipping Administration (Conway)

My Dear Captain Conway: On September 9 we wrote you44 requesting that the War Shipping Administration withdraw all vessels under its control from the northbound service between Argentine and United States ports, beginning October 1, 1944. This was done and we appreciate your cooperation in making the arrangement effective. On March 8, 1945 this request was modified to the extent of approving the shipment in vessels controlled by you of urgently needed vegetable oils, oil seeds and oil seed cake from Argentina to the United States and other United Nations, and to permit the movement of additional fuel oil to the Argentine.

Since our request of last September there have been a number of events in connection with the Argentine that make it seem advisable to reconsider the position taken at that time. Moreover, we are all familiar with the serious situation that has developed in connection with the supply of many commodities produced in the Argentine that are urgently needed for the relief of the peoples of Europe.

The Department now feels that changed circumstances make it advisable to withdraw its request of last September and no further objections will be imposed to the assignment of vessels under the control of the War Shipping Administration for the movement of Argentine supplies.

It is hoped that the major part of the cargoes moved from the Argentine to the United States will continue to be carried in Flota Mercante vessels, but it undoubtedly will be necessary to assign War Shipping vessels from time to time to supplement the Flota program. A case in point is provided by the request recently made by the Office of War Mobilization to assign a vessel for two trips for the movement [Page 530] of lead concentrates from the Argentine to the United States. This was discussed on the telephone by Mr. Brown45 with Mr. Bissell46 and the arrangements, we understand, are now being made for these voyages.

Sincerely yours,

William L. Clayton
  1. Letter not printed.
  2. Courtney C. Brown, Chief, War Supply and Resources Division, Department of State.
  3. Richard M. Bissell, Director, Division of Ship Requirements, War Shipping Administration.