823.5018/2–946

The Ambassador in Peru ( Pawley ) to the Secretary of State

secret

150. ReDeptel 96, Feb 5, 2 p.m.97 The wheat situation appeared normal in Dec as reported our telegram 118, Jan 30, 10 p.m. and Peru fully expected complete negotiations with Argentina for 150,000 tons, its normal import requirements. Because of Argentine short crop, transport difficulties, United Nations demand, and it is believed political reasons, Peru has been unable close transaction. Therefore no prospects for wheat after February, nor bread, noodles, macaroni after March. One of Peru’s major mills already closed. Largest mill producing 60 percent of flour has nine days supply. Present flour stocks including wheat yet unmilled will carry country through March. Director General of Foods on Jan 22, issued order to all mills restricting sales to bakeries, perhaps to forestall advance buying. Panicky market would precipitate crisis at much earlier date and might occur as millhands are turned away from closed mills. Consumption required imports 37,500 tons each quarter to avoid acute hardship resulting in economic and political crisis. Peru should receive minimum 35,000 tons during next 3 months with deliveries beginning immediately. Would it be feasible to advance Peru 37,500 tons to be returned if and when Peru able obtain further shipments from Argentine?98

Pawley
  1. Not printed.
  2. Telegram 183, March 4, 1946, 6 p.m., indicated to the Ambassador that 67,000 cwt. of flour was allotted to Peru for the first 6 months of the year. For the same period in 1944, 137,609 cwt. was allotted. The Department of Agriculture was unable to promise 8,000 tons of wheat monthly, as requested, but that amount was authorized for March. (102.78/2–2146) A similar amount was allocated for May according to telegram 440, May 20, 1946, 1 p.m., to Lima (823.61311/5–2046).