The French Embassy to the Department of State


During the meeting of the Cereals Conference in Paris,1 the French Government had an opportunity to explain to the American Delegation headed by Mr. Clinton Anderson, Secretary of Agriculture, the gravity of the French cereal situation during the coming crop year of 1947–1948, particularly during the third and fourth quarters of 1947.

In fact, although it still is impossible to give exact figures on the collections that the 1947 harvest will yield, it may be stated definitely that the results will be late and far short of the needs for French consumption.

According to present estimates, the amount of grain for making bread that will be collected in August and September will not exceed 650,000 tons, 150,000 tons of which will have to be used as commercial seed. Since the discrepancy between resources and needs will thus be considerable, the French Government will have to contend with serious difficulties to assure the supplying of the French population even on the basis of a ration reduced to 250 grams of bread per day.

Mr. Tanguy-Prigent, Minister of Agriculture, has therefore submitted to the American authorities a memorandum reporting a deficit during August–September of 450,000 tons for Metropolitan France and 100,000 tons for North Africa. The French Government expresses therein the hope that, in view of this situation, the American Government will be good enough to furnish France, on an urgent basis, in addition to the quotas known at present, and taking into account the expected shipments, 200,000 tons in August and 300,000 in September. Furthermore, the need is there stressed of not in any case permitting to be interrupted the flow of supplies from the United States, which normally stops at the beginning of the month of August, except for urgent shipments.

As regards the fourth quarter, the American Government is requested to support with the Cereal Committee the French requests which will have as their objective a monthly quota for Metropolitan France and North Africa of 340,000 tons from all sources as a minimum, the largest part of which, furthermore, can come only from North America.

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The French Government expresses to the American Government its thanks for the help which the latter may be good enough to give it.

  1. The Special Cereals Conference at Paris was held July 9–12, 1947.