The Chargé in Uruguay ( Sparks ) to the Secretary of State

No. 7787

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s telegram No. 322 of August 21, 194668 requesting the Embassy to keep the Department informed in detail with regard to developments in the Uruguayan wheat situation, and also to this Embassy’s Confidential Despatch No. 7648 of September 5, 1946 replying thereto.

During the month of September Uruguay received no wheat from the United States, but did receive a total of 9786 tons from Argentina. During the month of October to date Uruguay has received no wheat from the United States, but has received a total of 8649 tons from Argentina.

Although these receipts from Argentina during September and October were of the greatest value in easing the critical situation in Uruguay, particularly in view of the fact that the scheduled shipments from the United States were delayed due to the maritime strike, the situation remains extremely serious.

As explained in this Embassy’s Despatch No. 7648 referred to above, the minimum requirements of Uruguay during the six-month period June to November inclusive were established by competent government experts to be 102,000 tons, or an average of 17,000 tons per month. During the period from June 1 to date Uruguay has actually received only 55,084 tons of wheat, of which 17,487 have come from the United States and 37,597 from Argentina. It is clear, therefore, that, even if the 17,000 tons allocated to Uruguay by the United States should be received prior to the end of the current month, there would still be a theoretical deficit in the minimum requirements of 13,000 tons. Under the agreement with Argentina there is precisely this quantity still due [Page 1297] as the balance undelivered of the scheduled 50,000 tons, but whether or not it can be made available in time is, at the moment, doubtful. The Uruguayan authorities have advised this Embassy that there are only two further shipments expected from Argentina in the near future, such shipments totalling only 680 tons, but every effort is being made to obtain additional quantities as soon as possible. Present indications are that the month of November, which coincides with the election period, will prove extremely serious, if not critical, inasmuch as no harvesting of the early wheat can begin until the first part of December. However, it is understood that the Uruguayan vessel Tacoma is now in the port of Baltimore loading a full cargo of wheat for Uruguay, and, if this operation is successful, the situation will be improved.69

This Embassy will continue to keep the Department advised regarding developments in this situation.

Respectfully yours,

For the Chargé d’Affaires ad interim:
Franklin W. Wolf

Commercial Attaché
  1. Not printed.
  2. The departure of this vessel carrying 8,000 tons of wheat and the loading at Philadelphia of 8,500 tons of wheat for Uruguay in another vessel were indicated in telegram 409, November 8, 1946, to Montevideo (833.61311/10–2146).