840.6362/5–3146: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France (Caffery)

us urgent

2625. Please transmit following message to Bidault from Secy.

“When Mr. Bevin and I discussed coal with you in Paris, we agreed to do what we could to assure that France would receive coal in June to make up for losses caused by the stoppage of production in the U.S. I am glad to inform you that we have made substantial progress. Although the regular export allocation from Germany had been estimated at 900,000 tons, it has been possible to raise this to 1,125,000 for June. This increase will of course benefit France in the allocations which are recommended by the ECO. In spite of the critical situation in the US in the past weeks, it has been possible to ship large quantities of anthracite fines, suitable for making into briquettes, and I expect that approximately 195,000 tons will have been shipped in May and [Page 782] the first few days of June. With the end of the coal strike, it is my hope that substantial shipments of coal from the US will resume shortly.

In addition to the above, I have made arrangements for a loan of 60,000 tons to be made from US military reserves in Germany, the allocation of this amount to be agreed in ECO. I have instructed the US Rep in ECO to give strong support to the French claim for a major part of this special allotment, as well as of the special allotment being made by the Brit.

I am informed that Mr. Bevin has been able to arrange an allocation of an additional 100,000 tons for export from Brit domestic production and that it has been proposed in ECO that 85,000 tons of this should go to France. I also understand that another 100,000 tons will be made available from Brit reserves in Germany and that the Brit Rep in ECO will likewise strongly support the French claim against this special allotment.87

From all these efforts it appears that the June losses of US shipments will be largely offset and that, with the Polish coal which I understand will be received by France in June, French industrial recovery will be able to continue its advance.”88

You are authorized to make information in above message public if and as you deem desirable except that release of statements of Brit action and intentions should be cleared with Brit Ambassador.89 Sent Paris repeated London for Ambassador and Blaisdell90 to inform FonOff.

  1. This information concerning the British response to Secretary Byrnes’ message contained in telegram 4306, supra, had been transmitted to the Department in telegram 5580, May 30, from London, not printed (840.6362/5–3046).
  2. Telegram 2725, June 6, from Paris, reported M. Hervé Alphand’s comments on the note addressed to M. Bidault. M. Alphand, Director General of Economic, Financial, and Technical Affairs, French Ministry for Foreign Affairs, expressed appreciation of United States efforts to send coal to alleviate the shortage in France resulting from the interruption of American coal exports, but he also stated that the French Government was dissatisfied with the production and distribution of Ruhr coal and intended to raise the subject at the next meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers. (840.6362/6–646)

    In addition, in note 375 of June 6, to the Department the French Embassy expressed disappointment at the unwillingness of the Allied authorities in Berlin to increase France’s share of German coal for June and July and urged that the German economy be required to bear more of the burden of France’s postwar recovery (840.6362/6–646).

  3. Alfred Duff Cooper.
  4. Thomas C. Blaisdell, Chief of the U.S. Mission for Economic Affairs, London.