811.5017/11–2145: Telegram

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

3494. ReDepcirtel November 20.68 Reaction in Brazilian coffee circles unfavorable to recent decision on coffee ceiling price announcement November 17 by Judge Collett. Dissatisfaction stems from two major causes:

(1) Speculative interests who have been hoping and largely discounting 5¢ increase in ceilings if not complete elimination; and (2) disappointment that price controls were still to be continued with all attendant trade evils and administrative complexities. Many traders [Page 701] have expressed view that step taken will not be effective in assuring adequate coffee supplies for US market during coming months. Santos coffee market has declined since announcement around 1½¢ per pound, but some major exporters report inability today to buy coffee at ceiling prices plus 3¢. President DNC (Departamento Nacional de Cafe) has issued temperate statement commenting on decision (full text by air) pointing out Brazilian desire for elimination rather than increase of ceilings, and possibility of assuring supplies to US under present conditions.

  1. Ante, p. 364.