840.6362/5–2746: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Harriman)

us urgent

4306. For Ambassador: Please deliver immediately following message as personal from Secretary to Bevin.

Referring to our conversation with Bidault re the June shortage of coal for France, we agreed to make every effort to raise 500,000 tons additional to replace coal formerly shipped from US. I am advised that in spite of the coal situation here we will ship in May and the first few days of June, for June arrival, approximately 195,000 tons of anthracite fines suitable for making into briquettes. In addition, General Clay has arranged to divert from US coal supplies in Germany 60,000 tons of coal. This diversion is on a loan basis, to be made up out of future German production. The US will therefore have made available in June over one-half of the 500,000 tons M. Bidault asked for.

I understand that Gen. Robertson has agreed to lend France from British reserve military stocks in Germany an additional 100,000 tons subject to confirmation by you. I would appreciate your confirming the availability of the 100,000 tons extra from the British Zone Germany and your advice as to what other arrangements you have been able to make so that we may advise M. Bidault at the earliest moment what progress has been made in obtaining the 500,000 tons.