840.50 Recovery/12–2247: Circular airgram

The Acting Secretary of State to Certain Diplomatic and Consular Offices 1


1620. According to proposed legislation the Congress will be asked to provide in the enabling legislation of the European Recovery Act provisions for promoting in the territories, colonies and dependencies of the participating countries, an increase in the production of materials required by the United States as a result of deficiencies or potential deficiencies in its natural resources.2 While other resources may be included, it is contemplated that this will mean in practice strategic and critical materials as determined by the Munitions Board, particularly those listed in Group A of the “Current List of Strategic and Critical Materials” as amended August 28, 1947 and in accordance with Section 2 of the “Strategic and Critical Materials Stockpiling Act.”3 Materials listed in Group A are:

  • Agar
  • Antimony
  • Asbestos
    • Chrysolite
    • Amosite
  • Bauxite
  • Beryl
  • Bismuth
  • Cadmium
  • Castor Oil
  • Celestite
  • Chromite
    • Metallurgical Grade
    • Refractory Grade
      • Rhodesian Origin
      • Other Origin
  • Cobalt
  • Coconut Oil
  • Columbite
  • Copper
  • Cordage Fibers
    • Manila (Abaca)
    • Sisal (Henequen)
  • Corundum
  • Diamonds, Industrial
  • Emetine
  • Graphite
    • Amorphous Lump
    • Flake
  • Hyoscine
  • Jewel Bearings
    • Instrument Jewels, except
    • Vee Sapphire and Ruby
    • Vee Jewels Watch and
    • Time-keeping Devices
  • Kyanite
  • Lead
  • Manganese Ore
    • Battery Grade
    • Metallurgical Grade
  • Mercury
  • Mica
    • Muscovite Block and
    • Film (Good stained and better) Muscovite
    • Splittings
    • Phlogopite Splittings
  • Monazite
  • Nickel
  • Opium
  • Palm Oil
  • Pepper
  • Platinum Group Metals
    • Iridium
    • Platinum
  • Pyrethrum
  • Quartz Crystals
  • Quebracho
  • Quinidine
  • Quinine (cinchona bark)
  • Rapeseed Oil
  • Rubber
    • Crude Natural Rubber
    • Natural Rubber Latex
  • Rutile
  • Sapphire and Ruby
  • Shellac
  • Sperm Oil
  • Talc, Steatite, Block or
  • Lava
  • Tantalite
  • Tin
  • Tung Oil
  • Tungsten
  • Vanadium
  • Zinc
  • Zirconium Ores
    • Baddeleyite
    • Zircon

The proposed legislation will provide for the conclusion of bilateral agreements between the U.S. and each participating country containing appropriate provisions for (a) Making efficient use, within the framework of a joint program for European recovery, of the resources of such participating country (its territory, colonies and dependencies), including any commodities, facilities, or services furnished under this act, and (b) Facilitating the sale to the U.S. for stockpiling purposes, for such period of time as may be agreed to and upon reasonable terms and in reasonable quantities, of materials required by the U.S. as a result of deficiencies or potential deficiencies in its own natural resources, and which may be available in the territory, colonies and dependencies of such participating country after due regard for reasonable requirements for domestic use and commercial export of such country. Funds authorized under the program will presumably be used to promote production in the territories, colonies and dependencies of the participating countries in the form of producing machinery and equipment and possibly incentive goods, the primary emphasis [Page 780] in such utilization of the ERP funds remaining, of course, the economic recovery of the participating countries.

In order to facilitate such negotiations as regards stockpiling commitments by the participating countries, it will be necessary for the Department to obtain current and detailed information regarding certain economic aspects of the materials involved. The most important of these aspects are current production, factors mitigating against increased production, normal domestic and export requirements, and the excess production which would be available for United States procurement under various assumed conditions of production. The Department is scrutinizing such material as is available regarding the strategic materials and the additional data which may be requested of the offices concerned will be in terms of specific problems involving a particular material. It is not proposed that such information will be requested of the offices to which this circular airgram is addressed pending enactment of the proposed stockpiling provisions in the enabling legislation of the ERP. In the meantime, however, the officers concerned may find it desirable to assemble and analyze such data as is readily available regarding the strategic materials herein listed. Since a large proportion of the critical materials listed above is available from the colonies and dependencies of the European participating countries, the Department believes that this résumé of the proposed stockpiling provisions will provide useful background information for the various offices concerned. The Department wishes to emphasize that the program herein outlined is of tentative nature and, pending further instructions, should be held in the strictest confidence.

  1. Sent to 29 posts for action and to five for information.
  2. With respect to United States policy regarding the economic crisis in Europe, see vol. iii, pp. 197 ff. The Economic Cooperation Act (Title I of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1948), approved April 3, 1948, was the enabling legislation for the European recovery program; see 62 Stat. (pt. 1) 137.
  3. For additional information on United States policy pursuant to the Strategic and Critical Materials Stockpiling Act, July 23, 1946, see memorandum of November 6, 1946, by the Acting Executive Secretary of the Executive Committee on Economic Foreign Policy, Foreign Relations, 1946, vol. i, p. 1183.