102.78/2–2146

The Secretary of State to the Charge in Venezuela (Dawson)

confidential
u.s. urgent

92. From Agriculture. ReEmb 104, Feb 8. Rumor regarding prohibition wheat flour export unfounded.

In accordance with President’s directive78 to maximize shipments wheat and flour to areas in most dire need, new regulations require export license for every flour shipment. All wheat exports will be programmed directly by Agriculture. Your comments urgently needed on tentatively proposed program for Venezuela of 2 thousand bushels wheat and 566 thousand cwt. flour for first 6 months. The wheat allotment is subject to monthly review but present plan is to place flour under regular allocation. The contemplated flour allocation compares with shipments of 613,229 cwt. during first 6 months 1944 and with 797, 105 cwt. during same period 1945.

That hardships will result from flour allocation under contemplation is fully realized here. But world situation such that ruthlessly drastic curtailments imperative if widespread starvation to be avoided in many areas sorely hit by war and famine. The contemplated allocation [Page 1357]is strictly confidential and on no account should be revealed to local authorities. If you are convinced that increase in flour program absolutely essential, notwithstanding basic policy consideration mentioned above, wire urgently detailed justification and suggest target allocation.79 Suggestions for savings will be most welcome. [Agriculture.]

Byrnes
  1. Of January 25, 1946; for text, see Department of State Bulletin, February 3, 1946, p. 151.
  2. Mr. Dawson replied in telegram 139, February 27, 1946, 7 p.m., that the program would suffice as a minimum for the current semester, but that the chief problem was the irregularity of shipments (831.24/2–2546).