Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for American Republic Affairs (Braden)57
Before luncheon at Blair Lee House today I explained the Uruguayan wheat situation to Secretary Anderson,58 emphasizing two points:
- We have certain formal commitments which obligate us to supply Uruguay, as per attached copy of note and letter directed to Secretary Anderson and signed by Mr. Acheson.59
- As a matter of fact, the supplying of this wheat to Uruguay does not cut into the world supply situation at all because the wheat which should have gone to Uruguay from Argentina will eventually have to be exported from that country in any case.
Secretary Anderson was greatly concerned as to the position he would be in after the public announcement that a shipment of as much as 50,000 tons would be made. I told him all we were concerned about was to get the announcement out today of the first shipment.
Secretary Anderson doubted that he had the authority to authorize shipment of 50,000 tons, including three shipments of 8,000 tons each for May, June and July, and therefore endeavored to communicate with Mr. Craig60 of the Department of Agriculture. He was not able to get him on the telephone before luncheon and after luncheon Don Kennedy got the call through. After speaking to Craig, the Secretary told me that he could only make me a firm commitment for the May shipment, that was all right, go ahead; but not to worry about the June and July shipments (sic) since they would be worked out later.